Freshwater Eels

The Mystery of Eels (PBS Documentary)

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Quote: “The Delaware system is rare amongst other North American rivers. It remains one of those pure places. Largely undamed to its source. – Mitchell Fritz


This quote exemplifies the destructive nature of human beings. It is ironic that the system is a “rarity” due to its pure quality, since nature by definition is void of civilization and development. As humans became interested in conquest, expansion, and industrialization, these “pure” places have been destroyed. Fritz makes sure to point out that the Delaware system is undamed. When a stream or river becomes damed, it impacts the travel of the stream. According to the documentary, it prevents the freshwater eels from traveling upstream to live and then downstream to the oceans to reproduce. This natural cycle mimics that of the salmon. Not many people know salmon used to flourish in the North East of the United States. These North American salmon used to travel from Great Britain, to Greenland, and then to Maine to reproduce and feed. This was the natural cycle for this species, but since most of the rivers were damed for human benefit, the salmon population ceases t exist there anymore. The quote reminds humans that our action distrust the natural order of nature and that we need to be conscientious of our decisions because the ecosystem affects humans just as much as other inhabitants.


European eel. (n.d.). Retrieved January 29, 2015, from

Fritz, M. (2013, April 17). Mystery of Eels. Retrieved January 30, 2015, from

The mystery of eels [Motion picture]. (2013). United States: PBS Distribution.