Post Correction: I made a mistake! We did not find an American eel. In fact we found several lampreys!
On a recent hike along a stream (Maryland USA / March) we found several young American eels (Anguilla rostrata) swimming around.
I did a little research on these eels and discovered that the females lay their eggs in the Sargasso Sea. That’s a long way away from Maryland. Apparently all eels spawn in the Sargasso Sea. The eggs hatch into a larvae and are carried by ocean currents to areas along the Atlantic coast. They are called glass eels because they are transparent at this time. Next they make their way into freshwater rivers and streams. When they begin to get some color they are referred to as elvers. When they reach 4 inches they are called Yellow eels. Yellow eels can stay in fresh water for many years. Eventually they making their way back out to sea to spawn and die.
Eels can produce slime. The slime coat protects it from disease. (This is not an American eel as it turns out but a lamprey!
We promptly returned this guy to the stream after a quick photo shoot.
Read more here: http://www.agmrc.org/media/cms/AmericanEel_42EA03380CDE9.pdf