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Maine Elver Harvesters on Track to Reach Quotas

BANGOR, Maine - At the halfway point in the season, marine officials in Maine say elver landings are stronger than they were last year. This year the quota is the same as last year: 9,688 pounds.

"We've landed about almost 80 percent of that - or a little over 80 percent of that - total, this season," says Jeff Nichols, of the Maine Department of Marine Resources.

Nichols says last year, more than 4,400 pounds of the baby eels went unharvested. "This season we put into place a few law changes to try to improve the chances of harvesters to catch their full individual quota, and the state to land its entire quota."

That included an extension of the fishery by one week and the abandonment of periodic 48-hour closures.

This year's warm winter and mild spring have also contributed to successful elver runs. Prices are not quite up to last year's $2,000 per pound. Currently, fishermen are getting about $1,400 per pound, still higher than the historical average.

The elver fishery ends on June 7.