two men are walking through the water under a bridge

Unexpected Visitor Brings Hope to the Jones Falls

While collecting water samples for the EPA Mill Corridor Study in the lower Jones Falls stream, Blue Water Baltimore Water Quality Manager Alice Volpitta and Intern Chris Bellmyer, stumbled upon something that they had never seen before — a 30-inch long American eel.

American eels live in fresh water but migrate all the way out to the Sargasso Sea, a region of the Atlantic Ocean, to spawn and lay their eggs. After hatching, the eels return to their fresh-water habitats to live out their lives before the next spawning cycle.


Since the portion of the Jones Falls stream between North Avenue and the Inner Harbor is buried underground, this means that American eels have to travel through an underground tunnel to get back home!

Additionally, this is an incredible find because American eels are very susceptible to various environmental problems such as low Dissolved Oxygen, high water temperatures, heavy metals, and other sources of pollution.

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.

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