I remember seeing a very large eel close to Notown I think it was…all I remember was a side creek in the bush and heres this Taniwha. It was in a pool and Mr Meanie and his mate chucked boulders in to fill up the pool until we finally got it…that was january 1970.
The largest eels I ever saw were truly monsters - one in the Taieri at Outram Glen about 1960, one in Deep Stream about 1985. one in the Taieri again also about 1960 and one in Wellwoods Pond at the end of Maori Road near Morven, South Canterbury - part of me was scared to take it on with even a pitch fork but part of me wanted to get it and so I did - I used the pitch fork plus a shotgun to finish it off.
I saw my Dad take one on while gold mining once. It was a large one and in Deep Stream at Wallaces Ford. At the time it was my uncles claim. Dad was in his skin diving suit and the eel came up behind him. Dad managed to spear it with his pick and it was fun to watch - the water got churned up and all you saw was a seething mass of arms, eel head, feet, snorkel, eel tail, more of Dad and more of the eel but he got it.
Two gold fossickers said to me that they were going diving near the point that Deep Stream empties into the Taieri - I wont name them as one follows this forum but he will know who I refer to - I told them to ‘watch out for the eels’ but they laughed. Later after they had returned home from their trip they said that they were actually attacked by the huge eels but to this day I dont know if they imagined that they were attacked or it was the eels just being inquisitive…I have never heard of humans being eaten or partially devoured by an eel…they just look scary - yes and I AM scared of big eels - when it comes to big eels and gold mining - shoot first - gold mine later!
When I was goldmining I always carried a .22 rifle with me and when eels came being nosy I slipped the rifle under water and shot them - worked a treat every time…it made me feel good as well.