ELLSWORTH — Maine officials say this year’s elver harvest could top $40 million by the time the final figures are tallied.

Fishermen this spring received $2,000 and more per pound for the tiny translucent baby eels that make their way up Maine’s rivers each spring.

The Bangor Daily News reported that Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher told a regional fisheries panel last month that the value of the 10-week fishery could end up being $40 million to $50 million.

At that amount, elvers would be Maine’s second most-valuable commercial fishery by far, behind only lobsters and ahead of the combined value of clams, shrimp, herring and scallops.

A worldwide shortage of baby eels caused prices to skyrocket to unprecedented levels this year.