Responses of American Eels to Strobe Light and Sound (Preliminary Data) and Introduction to Sound Conditioning as a potential Fish Passage Technology

Publication Date


Publication Title

Behavioral Technologies for Fish Guidance: American Fisheries Society Symposium

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Coutant CC;

Publication Place

Bethesda, MD


American Fisheries Society


Laboratory experiments were conducted on the responses of both juvenile and adult American eels Anguilla rostrata to white strobe light and sound. All eels showed a strong avoidance of strobe light, although the response time varied for eel size-class. Juvenile eel avoidance was immediate whereas adult animals displayed marked avoidance only after several minutes exposure to the light source. In all tests, there were significant reductions in numbers occupying lit areas relative to control conditions. After avoidance occurred, there was no evidence of either juvenile or adult animal acclimating to the light source. An avoidance response was evident for different flashing rates. Future research activities are proposed. Preliminary experiments were conducted on the responses of both juvenile and adult eels to sound. We were able to demonstrate the concept that American eels may be attracted to sound. This is a new application since most studies involve using sound as a repellent. Another acoustical technique that involves 'sound conditioning' is also introduced as a method that may also have application in upstream/downstream bypass applications.

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