April 30, 2013

Fishing regulators to hold hearing on elvers today

The Associated Press

AUGUSTA — Maine elver fishermen are being given a chance to comment on a proposed range of new regulations for the American eel fishery.

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The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is holding a hearing Tuesday at the Augusta Armory.

The proposed regulations are the result of a stock assessment that concluded the eel population is technically depleted. Possible management options include quotas, gear restrictions, seasonal closures or closing the fishery.

Maine fishermen each spring catch baby glass eels known as elvers as they swim up Maine coastal rivers, with prices the past two years shooting up to $2,000 a pound or more.

The regulations would apply to glass, yellow and silver eel fisheries — which are all the same eel but at different life stages — from Maine to Georgia.

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