Ottawa Riverkeeper wants ‘eel ladder’ installed at Carillon Dam. When you think of campaigns to help save endangered species, you might imagine cute baby seals or cuddly pandas pulling on your heart strings. But what happens when the animal in question is a slimy, slithering fish? That’s the challenge facing the Ottawa Riverkeeper in its most recent campaign to help restore the diminishing population of American eels. “We totally understand someone’s initial reaction being somewhat taken aback if you want them to care about eels, which might get a bad rep,” said Matthew Brocklehurst, the organization’s communications director. The American eel used to be the Ottawa River’s most abundant fish, according to Brocklehurst, but the population has diminished by 99 per cent over the years.