Nine Mainers Win Chance to Enter Lucrative Elver Fishery

Augusta - The Maine Department of Marine Resources has awarded the right to apply for an elver license to nine Mainers.

More than 3,600 people applied for the licenses, likely drawn by last year's $2,000 per pound value.

"Maine's elver fishery provides significant opportunity for harvesters who last year earned over $20 million dollars," said Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher. "I'm pleased we can provide this opportunity for a new group of Mainers."

The lottery, authorized by the legislature in 2017, is available to Maine residents who are at least 15 years of age by the start of the 2020 season, and who are eligible to purchase an elver license in 2020 because they have not had their right to obtain an elver license suspended.

At the time the lottery was established, the legislature also set a cap of 425 state-issued licenses. The nine available licenses are the result of licenses that were not renewed in 2018 and 2019.

The department last held a lottery for elver licenses in 2017 and awarded licenses to eleven Mainers prior to the 2018 elver season.

As was the case in 2018, each new license holder will receive a minimum of four pounds of quota, which is made available from individual quota associated with licenses that were not renewed. If last seasons average value carries over into this season, each harvester stands to make to more than $8,000 of income.

They will each be authorized to choose either a dip net or a fyke net for harvesting.

The lottery winners are: Allen Leighton from Milbridge; Alice Lay from Perry; Joey Peaslee from Jefferson; Casandra Colston from Biddeford; Michael Roeber from Harrington, Rodney Dame from Addison; Richard Brown from Lamoine; Corey Pettegrow from Southwest Harbor; and Kevin Hunt from Harpswell.

InforME an enterprise created in 1997 by state law to ensure access to public information through technological solutions, conducted the lottery.

Each individual was allowed to submit up to five applications at a cost of $35 per application. The department received 9,967 applications from 3,621 individual applicants.

Twenty-five dollars of each application will be deposited into the Eel and Elver Management Fund, which is used to support research, management, administration and enforcement of Maines eel and elver fisheries.

The remaining ten dollars of each application will be used to support administration of the lottery. The total revenue generated by the lottery was $348,845.

The overall quota for the 2020 season, established by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, remains at 9,688 pounds.

The Department has notified the winners, who have thirty days to apply for a license. This years elver season begins at noon on March 22 and goes until noon on June 7.