AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Four Mainers have been given new licenses to fish for lucrative baby eels in the state’s first elver license lottery since 2006.
The Department of Marine Resources said more than 5,000 people applied for the four available licenses, with residents from Poland, Searsport, Spruce Head and Swans Island winning the coveted licenses.
The lottery allows new entrants into the fishery for the first time since 2006, with licenses becoming available only when current license holders drop out of the fishery.
Elver prices skyrocketed during last spring’s two-month season, with prices peaking at more than $2,600 a pound. Officials say last year’s catch is estimated to be worth more than $40 million, making it Maine’s second-most valuable fishery, behind only lobster.