Boarding out – placing boards in shallow waters to redirect elvers into deeper parts, where fishing nets can be dipped more easily.
Bubbing – see Sniggling
Clatting, or clotting – see Rayballing.
Eel bucks – large wicker baskets lowered into a flowing river to catch silver eels
Eel-fare – shoals of elvers travelling upstream.
Elver – the juvenile freshwater eel. Develops into Yellow eel.
Fyke nets – Linked mesh tunnels connected by mesh funnels that are easy for an eel to enter but difficult to escape.
Glaive, or Gleve – a spear for catching eels.
Glass eel – translucent juvenile eel that migrate from the Atlantic into rivers and estuaries before becoming elvers. Develops into elver.
Grig – A wicker eel trap with a small aperture, easy for eels to enter but difficult to escape.
Kiddle – A wicker eel trap with a small aperture, easy for eels to enter but difficult to escape.
Leptocephalus – eel larvae
Naring – see Rayballing
Putcheon – A wicker eel trap with a small aperture, easy for eels to enter but difficult to escape.
Rayballing – a method of eel fishing for which you thread worms in a tangle of wool. The eels go mad for the worm and get their teeth snagged on the wool, at which point the fisher quickly pulls out the ball and the eel and tosses it into a bath. Also called clotting or clatting.
Rhines – ‘hedges made of water’
Sagging – when the elvers ‘run’ they swim up river against the current, heading inland, but when the tide rises the eels turn, ‘sagging back’ so that their noses are again pointing into the current.
Schuyt – a Dutch eel barge .
Shar – a spear for catching eels.
Shut – fishing for elvers with a net.
Silver eel – the sexually mature eel that migrates downriver and out to sea.
Sniggle – apparatus used in sniggling.
Sniggling – a method of fishing for eels by sticking a baited hook and pole into various nooks and crannies where eels might be hiding.
Stang – a spear for catching eels.
Stichering – a method of fishing for eels that involves tying an old sickle to a pole and using this to scoop the fish out of the wetlands onto the bank.
Tealers - the sticks that hold an elver fishing net in place.
Tump – a fishing spot.
Vomp, or Vump – the slime given off by elvers.
Yellow eel – a maturing freshwater eel. The sort you are most likely to see in our water ways. Develops into Silver eel.
Regional words for the eel
Astan; Fansen, Fausen or Fazen (for very young eels); Gill-towall; Gloat; Glut; Gorb; Gornel; Grig; Milwel; Oliver; Sea-adder; Snig.
Some Useful books about eels
Cooke, Lucy, The Unexpected Truth About Animals, Doubleday, 2017
Davy, Humphrey, Salmonia
Fort, Tom, The Book of Eels, HarperCollins, 2002
Henderson, Casper, The Book of Barely Imagined Beings, Granta, 2012
Jones, Michael, Moonlighting: Tales and Misadventures of a Life with Eels,Merlin Unwin, 2011.
Moriarty, Christopher, Eels, a Natural and Unnatural History, David & Charles, 1978.
Prosek, James, Eels, Harper, 2010
Robeson, Kenneth, The Sargasso Ogre Doc Savage Magazine, 1933
Swift, Graham, Waterland, William Henemann, 1983
Tsukamoto K, Kuroki, M (editors) Eels and Humans, Springer, Japan, 2014