ROCKLAND — A Maine man told a marine patrol officer that he “couldn’t help himself” when he snared more than $1,000 worth of elvers. But it’s going to cost him dearly.

A Knox County jury on Friday convicted a 44-year-old Gary Hallett of Hancock of fishing for elvers during a closed period. That means he’ll lose his right to harvest the valuable baby eels during the upcoming season, in addition to paying criminal and civil violations.

The Bangor Daily News says Hallett had netted one-half to three-quarters of a pound of elvers before being caught by police on April 7.

The Marine Patrol officer said the price of elvers ranged from $1,200 to $2,400 per pound, meaning the bucket contained as much $1,600 worth of elvers.