European eels (Anguilla anguilla) in the glass eel phase migrate using ocean currents and selective tidal stream transport. Conventional fish ladders installed at the interface of marine and fresh water, however, require the fish to swim upstream actively. We question the efficiency of these fish ladders for glass eel immigration, and propose a simple siphon over migration barriers, restoring the original selective tidal stream transport. A conventional trap and our siphon were tested concurrently at two sluice complexes in The Netherlands (Tholen, Nieuwe Statenzijl) in spring 2005. In all but one case, the siphon caught more glass eels than the trap, as well as more sticklebacks and other species. Clearly, the natural immigration process can be restored fairly easily and at low cost and with low intrusion levels of salt. Follow-up studies should focus on optimization, and the effect of a passage on the hinterland stock.