Elver season begins March 22; state opens harvesting opportunity to 11 out of 3,000 license applicants

Posted:  Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 7:00pm

In the first lottery since 2013, the Maine Department of Marine Resources has awarded the right to apply for a coveted elver license to 11 Mainers, including two who fish on Penobscot Bay.

More than 3,000 people applied for the 11 available licenses.

“I’m pleased we can provide an opportunity for Mainers to benefit from this valuable resource,” said Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher, in a news release.

The lottery, authorized during the past legislative session, was available to Maine residents who are at least 15 years of age by the start of the 2018 season, and who are eligible to purchase an elver license in 2018 because they have not had their right to obtain an elver license suspended.

Each new license holder will receive a minimum of four pounds of quota, which at the most recent season’s average value could amount to nearly $6,000 of income. They will each be authorized to choose either a dip net or a fyke net for harvesting.

The lottery winners are: Warren Elsaesser, of Naples; Amanda Harvey, Swanville; Celeste Risbridger, Gouldsboro; Michael Griffin, Whiting; William Schad, North Yarmouth; Raymond Pomeroy, Stockton Springs; Marcel Nuss, Surry; Gregory Ring, Sorrento; Krista Tripp, Spruce Head; Ryan Larrabee, Stonington; and Cathie Harrington, of Nobleboro.

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. 3,136 individuals applied for the lottery, of those 1,496 entered once and the remaining entered multiple times.  The total number of entries was 8,093.

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 $283,255.

The overall quota for the 2018 season, established by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, remains at 9,688 pounds. Quota for the new license holders comes from licenses that were not renewed in 2017 and thus became available for redistribution to license holders.  

The Department will be contacting the winners, who have until March 1 to apply for a license. This year’s elver season begins at noon on March 22 and goes until noon on June 7.