Educator Offers Video On 6,000 Year-Old Danville Riverside Eel Dam And Eels To The Classroom Project In The Susquehanna River Watershed

Van Wagner, an Environmental Science Educator at Lewisburg High School in Union County, shares a fascinating video report on the origins of the Danville Riverside Eel Dam, as a result of a pilot program, “American Eels In the Classroom” in the Susquehanna River Watershed.

Click Here to watch the video report.

Wagner presented the program to his students in 2019 during the time students raised American Eels in their classrooms.  

Wagner offers an educational report of his research and findings of an old eel weir that can be seen today on the Susquehanna River. As a result, two compelling programs come together to tell the history of American Eels and how Native Americans trapped them for one of  their food sources.

Aaron Henning, Susquehanna River Basin Commission Fisheries Biologist, worked with local school districts on the Eels in the Classroom and it was in Wagner’s  Lewisburg High School Class where the first eels in the classroom pilot program began under his direction and guidance.

Click Here to read an overview of the 2019 Eels In The Classroom Program in SRBC’s Annual Report (page 11).

Henning believed that by raising eels in the classrooms, students at Lewisburg Area High School would learn about water quality, ecology and migratory fishes. At the end of the program eels would  ultimately be returned to the Susquehanna River to complete their life cycle.

In his video, Wagner offers us a glimpse of what took place on the River thousands of years ago and what remains today just as it was then.

Truly an incredible video and commentary filled with facts on how Native Americans harvested eels in the past.

The video describes the old historical site that was used to trap eels in the freshwater river. Native Americans constructed  these dam sites with such precision that they have weathered storms, flooding and constant river flow to this day.

Drone footage piloted by a 10th grade student at Danville High, Luke Wagner, video commentary by his dad Van Wagner, an Environmental Science Educator at Lewisburg High teaching  grade levels  9-12.

The 2019 participants in the Susquehanna River Basin Commission’s Eels In The Classroom Restoration Program include: Lewisburg Area High School, Bradford County Conservation District, Mifflin County Junior High School, Valley View High School, Abington Heights School District, Milton Area School District, Loyalsock Township School District, and East Pennsboro High School.

If your school district has an interest in participating in the future, please contact Aaron Henning by sending email to:

(Photo: V-shaped in-river Danville Riverside Eel Dam.)

Related Articles - Eels:

-- Susquehanna River Basin Commission Hands-On Eels In The Classroom Restoration Program

-- DEP Blog: Reuniting Eels & Mussels May Unlock Water Quality Improvements In The Susquehanna River

-- Eel Program Helps Mitigate Impact Of Muddy Run Pumped Storage Generation Project

-- Eels And Mussels - An Unlikely Pair - Benefit Pennsylvania's River Ecosystems

-- American Eels Reintroduced To Pickering Creek In Chester County, Delaware Watershed

-- Ad Crable: American Eel Restoration For Susquehanna Includes 3 Lancaster County Spots

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-- Outdoor Discovery Center At Crooked Creek Hosts Peregrine Falcons - An Environmental Success Story Online Program Sept. 17

-- Brodhead Watershed Assn./Pocono Avian Research Center Host Virtual Birding At Camp William Penn In Monroe/Pike Counties

-- PA Environmental Council Podcast: Why We Need Wildlife Corridors

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-- Bay Journal: Microplastics, Cigarette Butts, Straws Found In PA Susquehanna River Smallmouth Bass

[Posted: Sept. 6, 2020]


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