contribute data & specimens


  • If you took and possess a photograph of an American Eel and know where and when (even if just approximate) it was seen, please submit that observation to our iNaturalist project. If you prefer not to post there, please use the form in the link in the bullet below, or send the image and collection details to Close-up photos of the head and lateral photograph of the whole animal will help with positive ID. 
  • Any evidence of any eel in Texas is important, no matter the quality of that evidence. If you have access to an image that is not necessarily yours, or know of an observation lacking a photo, or someone has simply mentioned catching an eel somewhere to you, etc., please use this data entry form to submit that observation.
  • If you have a specimen, please keep it alive or place it on ice and contact Melissa Casarez or Adam Cohen (Texas Natural History Collections) as soon as possible. We prefer, and can do more research with, live or fresh specimens (never exposed to formalin), however, we'd like the specimen regardless of its condition (formalin preserved, rotten, skeleton only, etc.). Every specimen is at least a scientifically defensible occurrence that can add understanding to distributions over time. We'll arrange for transport and will formally deposit specimens into our research collection.
  • Please contact us (using any link above) prior to collecting if you are targeting American Eels or expect to be in an area where you might encounter them. We are hoping to get tissue samples that we can use for genetic and stable isotope analyses. If you are targeting eels we can provide special instructions, and loan you tissue collection supplies and preservatives in some instances. Here we provide a link to a map of locations  where we think there to be a higher probability of collecting eels (mostly streams just below dams).

Help us sample

 * Update (May 2021) - We have concluded the eel mop sampling portion of this study.  Thanks to all who have been involved in this effort and also to those who have reached out and expressed interest.

  • Deploy and monitor an eel mop:

    eel mopeel mop

    To date there are no known observations of glass phase ("baby") American Eels in Texas. We are seeking highly motivated people or groups with easy access to creeks and rivers, especially in mid- to lower-reaches of drainages, to assist us in efforts to capture immature American Eels as they make their migration into freshwaters. We have constructed eel mops (funded by TPWD) following the methods proven on the east coast to capture glass American Eels. If you would like to deploy one and check it regularly (daily would be ideal, weekly ok) we may be able to provide one to you or provide materials to construct one. Please contact us if you are interested. If you are selected for an eel mop we will arrange for transfer and provide detailed instructions. Be aware that deployment of an eel mop requires a valid TPWD scientific research permit that includes eel mops as an approved method. We can help anyone sincerely interested in this obtain such a permit. 

  • If you have a mop you can enter your mop data here.