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SUNY Oneonta students discover American eel 440 miles from home

Photo courtesy SUNY Oneonta

Two local college students made a rare discovery while working on a biology internship this summer.

Posted: Jul. 30, 2018 5:16 PM

COOPERSTOWN – Two local college students made a rare discovery while working on a biology internship this summer.

SUNY Oneonta says two interns, Alexa Platt and Lauren Saggese, were performing research in the Susquehanna River near the Cooperstown Dam when they discovered a 12-incxh American eel. That’s more than 440 miles from the ocean where the species typically makes its home.

“I knew I would get exposed to a lot of things this summer, but I never thought this would be one of them,” Platt said.

SUNY Oneonta says the construction of dams has all but eliminated American eels from this part of the country. This discovery is the farthest the species has been recorded to have traveled in decades. The Susquehanna River flows for more than 440 miles, making it the longest on the east coast. It starts at Otsego Lake and ends in the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.

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