AUGUSTA – A bipartisan panel of legislative leaders is not allowing the Passamaquoddy Tribe to reintroduce a bill this session to exempt its members from individual catch limits for elvers.

The Legislative Council on Thursday rejected the bill, which was submitted after Maine approved legislation requiring catch limits for all elver fishermen.

The tribe says the limits will prevent equal access to the fishery. But the Maine Department of Marine Resources says the tribe can issue licenses to all of its members if it chooses and that a compromise has already been made.

The Legislative Council denied all proposed new bills.

Jodi Quintero, spokeswoman for House Speaker Mark Eves, said the decision wasn’t a reflection on the merits of the bills, but that the Legislature is nearing deadlines.

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