PORTLAND, Maine — Spring is in the air and baby eels are in the rivers. Or at least that's what Maine fishermen hope.
The state's big-money baby eel fishery is scheduled to get started on Thursday. Fishermen seek the eels, called elvers, in rivers and streams so they can be sold to Asian aquaculture companies as seed stock.
The elvers are frequently worth more than $1,000 per pound, and this year is expected to be especially lucrative because of supply issues elsewhere in the world. Maine is the only state in the U.S. with a significant elver fishery.
Cold weather sometimes holds back the elver fishery in the early weeks of the year, and Maine has an endured a long, cold winter. Fishermen will have until June 7 to catch the state's quota.