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‘Massive’ American eel washes up on Texas Gulf Coast

A 4-foot long American eel — about as large as the endangered species can grow — was found washed up on the Gulf Coast of Texas.

The director of the University of Texas Mission-Aransas Reserve found the creature on the shoreline and posted his discover in a Facebook video.

“This is like basically as big as they get,” said Jace Tunnell, who came upon the giant fish on Mustang Island in Nueces County. “This thing is massive.”

In the clip, the marine conservationist goes on to explain that eels are usually small and used as fishing bait, so this find was out of the ordinary. He also assumed it to be a female, since those are usually larger.

A man holds a long, beige-colored eel up to the camera.
Jace Tunnell, Reserve Director a
An up-close pictured of the head of the eel with its mouth open.
Jace Tunnell, Reserve Director a
A man holds the entire length of a 4 foot-long eel.
Jace Tunnell, Reserve Director a

The American eel is listed as endangered, which he said is due to the building of dams in the rivers that they inhabit.

“Whenever all the dams and stuff started coming in, the life cycle of these fish, of going up the rivers, coming down the rivers, and going way out in to the ocean to be able to have their eggs,” he said. “With those dams on the rivers, really, they weren’t able to do the things they normally do.”