Sixteen Mainers Win a Chance to Enter Lucrative Elver Fishery

Augusta – The Maine Department of Marine Resources has awarded the right to apply for an elver license to sixteen Mainers who were among more than 4,500 who entered a license lottery held by the department.

Maine’s elver fishery continues to be one of Maine’s most lucrative, with a per pound value of $2,009 last year, which generated more than $19 million for fishermen.

The lottery, authorized by the legislature in 2017, was available to Maine residents who are at least 15 years of age by the start of the 2024 season, and who are eligible to purchase an elver license in 2024 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 sixteen available licenses are the result of licenses that were not renewed in 2022 and 2023.

The department last held a lottery for elver licenses in 2022 and awarded licenses to eleven Mainers prior to the start of the 2022 elver season.

As was the case in 2022, each new license holder will receive four pounds of quota, which is made available from individual quota associated with licenses that were not renewed.

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

The lottery winners are:

  • Deborah Reed - Mount Desert
  • Mark Olsen - North Yarmouth
  • Dwight Holbrook - Phippsburg
  • Ryan Collin - Stonington
  • Clifford Johnson - Jonesport
  • Donald Bradbury - Milbridge
  • Jonathan Achorn - Friendship
  • Rosalie Robidoux - Ellsworth
  • Adam Butman - Spruce Head
  • Cooper Deraps - Ellsworth
  • Dale Damon - South Thomaston
  • Scott Lorfano - Gorham
  • Arron Larrabee - Blue Hill                                                  
  • Wade Wallace - Jonesport
  • Patrick Gray - Sedgwick
  • Melissa Dana – Perry

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 13,662 applications from 4,575 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 Maine’s 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 $478,170.

The overall quota for the 2024 season, established by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, will remain at 9,688 pounds.

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