April 15, 2013

Dispatches

PORTLAND

One hearing set in Maine on proposed elvers rules

Regulators have rescheduled public hearings in Maine on proposed regulations for the American eel fishery.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission said there will be a single hearing in Maine, on April 30 at the Augusta Armory. That hearing consolidates three hearings previously scheduled to take place in the coming week in Ellsworth, Machias and Yarmouth.

The ASMFC is holding hearings from Maine to Georgia that kick off Monday in New Hampshire. The proposed regulations are the result of a stock assessment that concluded the eel population is technically depleted.

Maine's eel fishing season is now in full swing, with fishermen catching the baby eels known as elvers as they swim up coastal rivers. Fishermen have been receiving up to $2,000 a pound for their catch.

YORK

Man cited for possessing $22,100 in elvers illegally

A Maine man is facing charges of allegedly being in illegal possession of more than $20,000 worth of baby eels, known as elvers.

Officials said 36-year-old Dale Boyington of Rockland was cited last week after Marine Patrol officers conducting surveillance saw him pass through the York toll plaza on the Maine Turnpike.

Boyington was pulled over in Kennebunk and charged with possession of elvers without a Maine license, for allegedly having 11 pounds of the eels, worth $22,100. The Department of Marine Resources said Boyington was traveling in a U-Haul van loaded with equipment for harvesting and transporting elvers.

With elvers selling for $2,000 or more per pound, officials say there's been a lot of illegal activity with people wanting to cash in.

CALAIS

Port of entry's travel lane closing for several months

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials say the travel lane from Canada to Maine at a Calais port of entry will shut down for several months for a construction project.

The agency said the lane from St. Stephen, New Brunswick, into Calais at the Milltown port of entry will be closed beginning May 1 because of scheduled demolition and reconstruction of a new port of entry. The lane will stay closed until the project is completed, in September or October.

The lane leading from Calais to St. Stephen will remain open.

Travelers have their choice of two nearby border crossings in Calais during the project.

BIDDEFORD

Surfer saves fellow surfer who was caught in riptide

A teenage surfer got a scare Saturday when he was pulled by a riptide away from the shore at Fortunes Rocks in Biddeford, but he was quickly helped back to land by a fellow surfer.

Biddeford Fire Capt. John Pothier said a call came in at about 2 p.m. that a surfer was in distress. "By the time we got on scene, another surfer had started out after him and was able to help him," Pothier said Sunday. "We had firefighters ready in their wetsuits, but it turns out we didn't need them."

The boy, who was not identified, was surfing alone, but his parents and other surfers were on the beach.

FREEPORT

Gay couple steps down after winning wedding

The same-sex Maine couple who won a magazine's dream wedding contest is withdrawing because one woman's father is ill.

Real Maine Weddings on Friday announced contest winners Jenna Eagleton and Caroline Currie are stepping down because Currie's father's health has worsened and they want to focus time on their family. The magazine previously said Currie's father has leukemia.

The Portland couple won the contest last month. Same-sex couples have been allowed to marry in Maine since December after voters approved a referendum.

A Kennebunk couple now will receive the top prize. The $100,000 wedding includes the reception, a wedding dress, tuxedos, rings, flowers and limousine service.

– From staff and news reports

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