PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - More people will be fishing for lucrative baby eels in Maine rivers next year, but the amount of fishing gear will remain stable under proposed new regulations.
The Department of Marine Resources is proposing to establish a lottery system for new fishing licenses for the tiny baby eels known as elvers. There's been a freeze on new licenses since 2006.
There's been high interest in elver licenses since last spring's eel-fishing frenzy, when fishermen were getting more than $2,000 a pound.
Elver dealers say it's important to allow new people into the fishery to ensure a sustainable elver industry in Maine.
Officials say it's also important to not increase fishing pressure at a time when the federal government is reviewing whether to list eels as threatened or endangered.
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