Maine Bill Facilitates Elver Harvest

Maine May Reduce Tribal Harvest of Elvers
Photo/New England Boating

A recently passed bill will improve Maine elver (juvenile American eels) harvesters’ chances of landing all of the state’s 9,688 pounds of quota. The elver season began on March 22 and will end June 7.

“Last year Maine left over 4,400 pounds of quota in the water,” said Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher. “That represents more than $9,600,000 in potential income that Maine harvesters could not access.”

According to Keliher, management improvements in 2016 will provide more flexibility and better opportunity for Maine elver harvesters. One provision within the law will eliminate the 48-hour closures each week, while another will lengthen the season by a week. Officials can now monitor elver landings in near-real time using a swipe card system.