Fisheries and Land Resources

American Eel

Anguilla rostrata


Native to both Newfoundland and Labrador.


Occur along the east coast of North America. In Newfoundland, they can be found in almost all lakes and rivers that flow to the sea. In Labrador, their range stretches as far north as the Lake Melville area.


Found in both fresh and salt water. Eels spend their immature lives in fresh water and, upon reaching sexual maturity, move to the sea, eventually to spawn in salt water. In spring the young migrate from the ocean to fresh water.


American Eels are voracious predators. Feeding at night, they will eat a variety of fish species, as well as insect larvae.


Slender, snakelike body with a small, pointed head; yellow to olive-brown above and pale to white below.

Breeding Biology

Very little is known of eels' spawning habits or where they go in the ocean. However, they are believed to spawn in the southwest portion of the Atlantic Ocean near the Sargasso Sea. Eel larvae have been found floating in this region.


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