Why This Eel is a Good Sign for the Jones Falls

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Jones Falls eel sighting (Blue Water Baltimore)

Eels don’t have the greatest reputation. Boris Karloff infamously thought the sea creatures were as un-charming as Grinches. But when it comes to the notoriously polluted Jones Falls, environmentalists are viewing a recently eel sighting as a skinny piece of hope.

According to Blue Water Baltimore, a 2.5-ft. American eel was found in the lower Jones Falls. It was a new one on the nonprofit’s staffers, who noted that this particular species of eel migrate out to a region of the Atlantic called the Sargasso Sea to lay eggs.

In fact, they were surprised it could survive. American eels are known to be susceptible to low oxygen, heavy pollution and high water temperatures. All of those are found in the Jones Falls, which gets too many nutrients from polluted stormwater runoff, other pollution from the occasional raw sewage leak and other garden-variety surprises.

“While the Jones Falls may have scored an “F” grade on the 2014 Healthy Harbor Report Card, this is a good indication that the Jones Falls is slowly but surely getting better and starting to support more sensitive organisms,” Blue Water Baltimore wrote.

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