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Maine Fishermen: Warm Weather Could Mean More Productive Elver Season

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s baby eel fishing season is underway with fishermen hoping to catch more of their quota than a year ago.

The baby eels sometimes sell for $2,000 a pound at the dock and are sold to Asian aquaculture companies that raise them to maturity and use them as food. Some end up back in America as sushi.

Maine has the only significant commercial elver fishing operation in the country. Last year, fishermen came up more than 4,000 pounds short of their quota. They caught about 5,300 pounds of elvers worth $11.4 million.

Fishermen say they expect this season to be more productive because of warmer weather. Rivers that were frozen a year ago are flowing this year.

The season runs until June 7.