Choice of EEL and FYKE NETS for NZ EELS
Can also be used to catch Bait Fish. There are two main types of eel - the short-fin and the long-fin.
There are fewer eels today because of the loss of wetlands and historical commercial fishing practice.
Currently the commercial eel fishery is managed by the Ministry of Primary Industries under the Quota Management System.
Eels migrate up streams as elvers to find suitable adult habitat.
After many years 15-30 years for short fins, 25 years for long-fins, and sometimes up to 80 years they migrate to the Pacific Ocean to breed and die.
Eels are secretive, mainly nocturnal and prefer habitats with plenty of cover.
About the longfin Eel habitat
Longfin eels can be found throughout New Zealand.
They live mainly in rivers and inland lakes but can be found in almost all types of waters, usually well inland from the coast.
They are legendary climbers and have made their way well inland in most river systems, even those with natural barriers.
Elvers - young eels swimming up river will climb waterfalls and even dams by leaving the water and wriggling over damp areas
. It is not unheard of for an eel to climb a waterfall of up to 20 metres
Size When Eels Begin Life
They are a tiny one millimetre in length. During their life, they can grow up to two metres long.
Compared with many other fish, eels are slow growing - a longfin may grow only between 15-25mm a year.
They can also live for many years. Large longfins have been estimated to be at least 60 years old.
The biggest eels are usually old females that have been slow to reach sexual maturity and, for reasons that are not yet understood, have not migrated to sea to breed.
The biggest longfin eels reported have weighed as much as 40 kg. Pictures of fishers and huge eels used to appear regularly in local newspapers. But today, you'll seldom find an eel heavier than 10 kg.