Animal Planet will debut a new reality show on Maine’s controversial juvenile eel, or elver, fishery. The show, to air January 2, will be called Cold River Cash, and follows 4 eel-fishing “teams” as they pursue the tiny migratory eels, which can be worth over $2,000 a pound.

Here’s the Animal Planet promo copy:

Welcome to Eel Country! Maine is 1 of 2 states where eel fishing is legal, and it’s the state’s second largest revenue stream, bringing in approximately $40 million this past year alone! But in this icy New England state, catching this sort of liquid gold is slippery and dangerously fast! It all has to be done within a 2-month window, so the fishermen who commit their lives to reeling in the loot (a maximum of 400 can obtain licenses) must endure all sorts of hardship, uncertainty and danger—all compounded by a lack of sleep—to turn eel fishing into COLD RIVER CASH.

On Thursday, January 2, at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT, Animal Planet’s COLD RIVER CASH brings viewers eight episodes of adventure and mishaps as three teams of fishermen take to the rocky riverbanks of coastal Maine to vie for an elusive but lucrative catch—baby glass eels—which are tiny cellophane-looking creatures also known as elver eels.


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