St Columba’s welcomes the eels at the inaugural eel-wood festiv-eel!

A large bunch of enthusiastic eel spotters gathered together last Friday night to welcome the eels as they migrated along the canal.

The night started with a screening of the “Baykeepers” movie and a talk with Baykeepers from the Port Phillip Eco Centre, Neil and April.

The spotters then set off with their torches and travelled up the Elwood Canal/Elster Creek spotting around a dozen eels on their journey.

During the evening funds were raised for St Columba’s many green initiatives through the sale of Saintly Soil, popcorn, icy poles and raffle tickets for an impressive bike.

The evening was held as part of St Columba’s Caring for our Coast Initiative, funded by a Coastcare Victoria Community Grant. A big thank you to our Green Team parents, Eco-Warriors, Port Phillip Eco Centre, and parents and children who came along and made the inaugural event such a success!

Did you know…

  • The Elster Creek is a tributary of Port Phillip Bay, stretching 15-20 kilometres from Bentleigh to Elwood. Beginning in Bentleigh, it flows underground to McKinnon and East Brighton.
  • The most well known point of the Elster Creek, is at what is commonly called the Elwood Canal. Through the Elwood Canal, the Elster Creek runs directly into Port Phillip Bay.
  • Elster Creek (from the coast inland 2 km) is home to a diversity of species, with nearly 1000 fauna recorded by volunteer naturalist Gio Fitzpatrick since 2012.
  • The lower Creek and foreshore are visited by migratory birds including international species; and provide habitat for species like the Southern Water Skink that are otherwise locally extinct.
  • Historic records indicate that Elwood is a former lush swamp full of wildfowl.  Elster Creek still hosts a thriving eel population that underpinned the pre-settlement Boon Wurrung economy.