POSITION STATEMENT ON AMERICAN
* American eel are a valuable component of the upper St. Lawrence River / Lake Ontario ecosystem which has contributed to the biological diversity of the system and provided an important commercial fishery in Ontario until the late 1990s.
* The American eel population is in serious decline and recruitment to the upper St. Lawrence River / Lake Ontario has now virtually ceased.
* Without management intervention, extirpation of the American eel in the Great Lakes Basin is likely.
* Management actions within the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario should be taken to reduce eel mortality (at all life stages), and encourage safe, effective upstream and downstream migration.
* To prevent extirpation of the American eel from the Great Lakes Basin, and possibly address management issues elsewhere in the eel's range, the actions above should be implemented in conjunction with a management plan to sustain this species throughout its range, coordinated by Canadian and U.S.A. federal agencies.
27 March 2002