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American Eel

Illustrator
Duane Raver, Jr.
Season
Open Year Round
Size Limit
9 inch minimum (total length)
Daily Limit / Person
25
Delaware Range
Atlantic Ocean, Delaware Bay and Inland Bays
Abundance in Delaware Waters
Abundant
General Habitat and Food Preferences
American Eels prefer the muddy bottoms and calm waters of streams, ponds, rivers, and estuaries.

They eat a variety of small fishes, insects, snails, clams, and marine worms.
General Description
The American Eel has a long, cylindrical body, giving it a snakelike appearance.

They are olive to brown above, yellowish on the sides, and lighter below.
Did You Know?
When an American Eel is caught it often feels very slimy to the touch. The stress of being caught causes the eel to produce this slime coat as a protective measure.

American Eels return to the Sargasso Sea, where they were born, to spawn and then die. The Sargasso Sea is an area of calm water northeast of the West Indies.
Common Fishing Lures and Baits
You can fish for American Eels with grass shrimp, worms, or any kind of small pieces of cut bait with small hooks on bottom rigs.
Typical Sizes Caught
American Eels are commonly caught in the range of 10 to 24 inches in length by Delaware anglers.
Citation Minimum Lengths/Weights
American Eels are not currently eligible for a Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament or Live Release award.
Delaware State Record
American Eels are not currently eligible for an individual Delaware record.