5-Year-Old Boy Catches Eel In Chicago River During “Chicago Fishes” Event

CHICAGO (CBS) — A group fishing event along the Chicago River drew hundreds last week, highlighted by the appearance of a surprise fish.

Josh Ellis is Vice President of the Metropolitan Planning Council, one of many groups that organized Friday’s “Chicago Fishes” event.

“It was a very diverse group,” Ellis said. “We had high school students, young kids with their families and people who picked up their kids after work and brought them down.”

Ellis said the goal was simple: get people fishing.

“We caught, we believe, eight different species of fish. One of those was an American Eel,” he said.

The two-foot-long eel is believed to be the first ever recorded in the Chicago River, which Ellis said is pretty cool for a few reasons.

“One, this fish is a long way from its ocean home,” Ellis said. “Two, just amazing that a few minutes after we started, a five-year-old boy named Richie, who I think was fishing for the first time, caught this thing.”

Afterwards, the group donated their fishing poles to the Chicago Park District for children to use next summer. Organizers are confident “Chicago Fishes” can become an annual event.

Watch & Listen LIVE