- Associated Press - Thursday, April 17, 2014

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Maine elver fishermen and dealers are reporting small catches and reduced prices in the first week and half of the state’s season for immature eels.

The Portland Press Herald (https://bit.ly/P87eQE ) reported Thursday that water flowing from Maine’s rivers and streams is too cold to lure baby eels away from warmer saltwater. Many elver fishermen also pulled gear from flooded waters this week.

Dealers are paying $400 to $650 per pound for elvers, down from more than $1,800 last year. State officials and fishermen both said before the season they anticipated a slow start because of the harsh winter.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has placed a catch limit of 11,749 pounds on Maine for 2014. Fishermen caught more than 18,000 pounds of elvers in 2012 and 2013.

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