Common name: Eel

Scientific Name Anguilla reinhardtii (Long finned eel) or Anguilla australis (short finned eel)

The long finned eel is the largest freshwater eel in Australia and is found in freshwater rivers, streams and dams along the East coast from Cape York to Victoria and Tasmania. The common length of eel is 1m however they can reach 1.7m and weigh up to 22kg, with females growing larger than males. It is olive green with heavily mottled back and sides and a silver white to pale yellow belly.

The eel we spotted is possibly more likely to be a short finned eel as it was in still to slow flowing water.

Eels are catadromous, living approximately 20 years in freshwater and migrating to the Coral Sea in winter to breed and spawn. They are presumed to die after spawning. They feed on crustaceans, mollusks, terrestrial and aquatic insects, fish and small water fowl.

They are commonly caught at night on baited hooks, with fish and earthworms.  In NSW bag limits of 10 eels have been set and minimum length is 30cm for the short finned eel and 58cm for the long finned eel. They are also a commercial product and often exported to China.


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