Upstream dam passage and use of an eel ladder by the common watersnake (Nerodia sipedon)

  • Published source details Welsh S.A. & Loughman Z.J. (2015) Upstream dam passage and use of an eel ladder by the common watersnake (Nerodia sipedon). Herpetological Review, 46, 176-179.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Modify dams or water impoundments to enable wildlife movements

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Modify dams or water impoundments to enable wildlife movements

    A study in 2007–2014 on a river in West Virginia, USA (Welsh & Loughman 2015) found that an eel ladder was used by common watersnakes Nerodia sipedon in five of eight years of monitoring. The ladder was used by common watersnakes (1–5 individuals/year) in five of eight years that the ladder was monitored. A stainless steel fish ladder (11 m long, 13 cm deep and 41 cm wide with a 50° slope containing a suitable substrate for climbing, see original paper for details), designed to facilitate the upstream passage of the snake-like movements of American eels Anguilla rostrata, was installed from late spring (May–July) to autumn (October–November) in 2007–2014 (106–188 days/year). Numbers of snakes (and eels) were monitored by live catching or photographs when they reached the upstream end of the ladder.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

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