Notice to Maine Elver Industry Members
Due to ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19 transmission, the 2021 elver season will be conducted in the same manner as the 2020 season. Specifically, licensed elver harvesters may again fish for and sell the quota of another licensed harvester, provided they follow the necessary protocols. This is authorized by an Executive Order signed by Governor Mills earlier this week.
Individual license holders may allow another license holder to use their gear to catch their quota for them. If a license holder chooses to allow another license holder to fish for them, the license holder who is fishing must have the license and swipe card in their possession of the harvester who is staying home.
A license holder may allow another license holder to sell their quota for them. If a license holder chooses to allow another license holder to sell for them, the license holder who is selling must also have the license and swipe card in their possession of the harvester who is staying home.
The license holder who is fishing and/or selling may fish/sell for any number of other license holders, however, they may not take, possess, or sell more pounds of elvers than the combined quota of the license holder(s) for whom they are fishing and/or selling.
In addition, all harvesters are expected to maintain social distancing (minimum of 6 feet of separation) at all times (fishing and selling), spread out fishing effort on the rivers to the greatest degree possible and fish as close to home as practical, to avoid traveling throughout the State.
Elver dealers are expected to comply with protocols for elver sales transactions that are designed to minimize the risk of the spread of COVID-19 and are consistent with CDC guidelines. These include limiting each transaction to one pound or more. This will eliminate hundreds of transactions over the course of the season and further reduce the potential to spread the virus. Harvesters are expected to comply with the protocols specified by the dealers.
Maine Marine Patrol will monitor the fishery to determine whether participants are following the necessary protocols.
Please see the attached handout as a reminder of best practices to minimize risk to you and others.