Perthshire Advertiser

Keep your eyes p-eeled near lade

Slippery character seen


The Perth Lade is known for being an urban haven for wildlife.

But that did not stop one resident getting a shock when he spotted an eel swimming in the waters.

Kenneth Frew was walking by the water on Sunday, July 12, when he spotted the creature.

“I was so surprised to see this cheeky chappie swimming in the lade close to ‘The Broch’ building,” Kenneth told the Perthshire Advertiser. “I’ve only ever seen minnows before but this was a twofoot long eel.”

The Lade, which is thought to be 900 years old, is a haven for wildlife including bats and birds.

The grey heron and great spotted woodpecker are often seen near it.

Underneath the surface, minnows, sticklebac­k and small trout are common, as well as otters who have been known to swim in to the city.

And according to one expert asked by the PA, eels might be more common than we think.

Fish biologist David Murray said the pictures looked like a European eel, or Anguilla anguilla to give it its binomial name.

He added: “They have a complex life cycle and this little guy looks like he’s at the ‘yellow eel’ stage and will probably migrate out soon to reproduce.

“As they metamorpho­sise, they can change shape quite a bit.

“They travel to the Sargasso Sea (a region of the Atlantic Ocean) to spawn but we don’t really understand why or where exactly as no one has ever seen them spawn.

“They are fairly common in Scotland but they are a high conservati­on species and protected by the government.”

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