Maine Elver Lottery Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I enter the lottery? You can enter the lottery online at: www.maine.gov/elverlottery. If you do not have a computer or internet access, your local public library might be able to provide computers and internet access. The online lottery application is also accessible on mobile devices. Because of the anticipated volume of interest in the lottery, DMR cannot accept applications by mail. If you prefer to submit your application on paper, you may come to the DMR offices in Augusta to complete and submit paper applications. DMR will be accepting online lottery applications between noon on November 15, 2017 and 5 pm on January 15, 2018. DMR will be accepting online lottery applications between noon on November 15, 2017 and 5 pm on January 15, 2018. Due to the holiday on January 15, 2018, the DMR offices will be closed, so those who plan to submit paper applications may do so until 4:30 p.m. on Friday, January 12, 2018.
2. What are the eligibility criteria for the lottery? To be eligible for the elver license lottery, an individual must meet all of the following criteria: 1. Be at least 15 years of age at the start of the 2018 elver season (March 22, 2018); and 2. Be a resident of the State of Maine, and 3. Be eligible to purchase an elver license in 2018 because they have not had their right to obtain a license suspended.
3. How many new licenses will be available? To the best of our knowledge at this time, there will be a minimum of 7 licenses available. If any individuals who held a license in 2016 do not renew their license by the end of 2017, their licenses will also be available. DMR will have a final determination on the number of licenses available by January 15, 2018, and will make that information public through the Department's website.
4. How much quota will be given to the new license holders? A minimum of 4 pounds of quota will be given to each new license holder for the 2018 season.
5. If I win the lottery, how many pieces of gear can I use, and what type of gear can I use? If you win a license through the lottery you will be authorized to use one piece of gear. You may choose to use either a dip net or a fyke net.
6. Can I enter the lottery multiple times? Yes. By law, every individual is allowed to submit up to five applications per year at a cost of $35 per application. Attempts to enter the lottery beyond the number of chances that are legally allowed will disqualify the applicant.
7. If I enter but I am not eligible for the lottery, can I get my money back? No. All fees are non-refundable and it is the responsibility of the applicant to review the eligibility criteria to make sure they are eligible before entering.
8. I am an existing elver license holder. Can I enter the lottery to get an additional piece of gear? No, the lottery is authorized for the issuance of new licenses, not additional pieces of gear.
9. Can I enter my kids in the license lottery? By law, a person is not eligible to fish for or take elvers unless they are 15 years of age. Therefore, all lottery applicants must be 15 years of age by the start of the 2018 elver season (March 22nd).
11. How will the winners be selected? Winners will be selected at random from the database of applications received. A third party, external to the DMR will administer the selection.
12. If I am selected, how will you notify me, and how do I buy my license? Lottery winners will be informed in writing by the Department and will be mailed a license application. Winners will have until March 1st to submit the application, correctly completed, and the license fee. If a lottery winner fails to submit the application and fees by the deadline, the elver license will be made available to the next alternate on the list.
13. Where does the money from the lottery application go? By law, $25 of the application fee must be deposited in the Eel and Elver Management Fund. This Fund may only be used to research and manage the State's eel and elver resources, to enforce the laws related to eels and elvers, and to cover the costs associated with determining eligibility for elver fishing licenses. The law specifies that $10 of the application fee is provided to the Department to fund Department costs associated with administering the lottery.
14. Why was I charged $2 more for each transaction over and above the application fee when I applied online? The total amount you pay through the online service includes an additional $2 online service fee that covers development, maintenance and enhancements for this online service as well as the State’s official web portal. A transaction is considered each completed application, regardless of the number of chances you choose. If you complete more than one application, each additional application will be considered an additional transaction and you will be charged another $2 for each transaction.
15. What are my odds of winning? DMR does not have a way of determining the odds of winning, because we will not know how many lottery applications will be received until January 15th.
16. I have a question that was not answered here - who can I talk to? If you have remaining questions, please call Maine DMR at 624-6550, Option 2 and we will try to assist you.