Editor The Star: I have been reading, with considerable interest. this being published in the Star regarding the rare fish which inhabit Puget sound waters.
The account of the “Cable-Cleaning Croppie” was particularly interesting and has prompted me in writing you regarding the more interesting and valuable aquatic wonder, the “Cable Trouble-Hunting Eel,” of which I am sure you have not heard.
This fish has long been well known to those whose business is connected with submarine cables, but the “Trouble Hunter” is of such valuable assistance to them in the location of cable trouble that they have jealousy guarded the knowledge of his existence for fear that he might become the prey of some inquisitive “rare species” hunter.
This water-snake is very much like the electric eel. In addition to the electrical power plant of the eel, the “trouble hunter” is provided with two long tendrils and connected internally through the eel’s battery with a very delicate and sensitive diaphragm which responds to the slightest change in its electrical system. When the tendrils come in contact with any conducting medium the electric current is set in motion.
A week or so ago the newspapers contained accounts of the breaking of the Alaskan cable, which rims along the ocean bottom from Seattle to Sitka.
When the electricians in the cable office here detected the break the “Trouble Hunter” was duly notified, and immediately started out over the cable lying at the bottom of the sea. From time to time the eel would “cut in” and test with the office at this end. Finally it lost signals from the Seattle station and picked up the Sitka signals, which indicated been passed.