In a research paper published July 20, 2012, scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and the National Park Service reported that American Eel populations have increased in Shenandoah National Park headwater streams since the 2004 removal of the Embrey Dam on the Rappahannock River just above Fredericksburg. The Rappahannock basin increases are in contrast to decreases seen elsewhere in populations of the American Eel, which is being considered by the FWS for listing as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act. The research is part of a USGS effort nationwide to assess the physical and biological impacts of removing unused dams from streams and rivers. The research paper is “Dam Removal Increases American Eel Abundance in Distant Headwater Streams,” by N.P. Hitt et al., published online in Transactions of the American Fisheries Society (Vol. 141, No. 5) (http://www.tandfonline.com/).
Source: American Eels Return to Mountain Streams After Dam Removal, U.S. Geological Survey News Release, 7/31/12