An American eel has taken a long journey to wind up in Indiana.
Officials believe the eel swam from the Atlantic Ocean into the Mississippi River to the Ohio River, then to the Wabash River before finally ending up in the White River in Muncie, Indiana.
The 30-inch long female eel was found during a fish survey along the West Fork of the White River in Muncie.
Officials call it a “once-in-a-lifetime catch.”
A popular bait for sport fishing, American eels were once an abundant species in rivers. However, the construction of hydroelectric dams and other obstructions have blocked their migrations and locally exterminated eels in many waters.
Vast numbers of eels in the St. Lawrence and Ottawa rivers in Canada have dwindled.
Eels have been a part of the human diet, especially in Europe and Asia, for hundreds and even thousands of years. In many European countries, eel populations have decreased dramatically, possibly as much as 99 percent, and there has been concern that the American eel populations, particularly those in fresh water, are following that same downward spiral.