Shrimp eels come out at night along Texas Coast, officials say

These eels are totally harmless

Shrimp eel spotted in Galveston, Texas.
Shrimp eel spotted in Galveston, Texas. (Texas Parks & Wildlife Department)

GALVESTON, Texas – Did you know there are animals known as shrimp eels and that they’re actually super common along the Texas coast?

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department shared a photo of a shrimp eel on Wednesday and said the little guy was spotted in Galveston.

What interesting things have you found on the beach? This shrimp eel was spotted in Galveston. These eels live in...

Posted by Texas Parks and Wildlife on Wednesday, August 18, 2021

“Shrimp eels are common along the entire Texas coast, and are found from the Carolinas to Brazil, and the Gulf of Mexico,” TWPD Science Director for Coastal Fisheries Mark Fisher told KSAT.

Don’t worry, Fisher said these eels are harmless. He also told KSAT that shrimp eels are nighttime predators and stay buried during the day, emerging at night to hunt small crustaceans and fish.

“They are prey items for several game fish,” said Fisher. “Several fishing lures have been created to mimic them, like the Norton sand eel.”

The state record for the biggest shrimp eel caught with a rod and reel was set in 1990, according to TPWD. The eel weighed 0.69 pounds and measured just more than 2 feet in length.

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About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.