- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 18, 2014

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - The Maine House and Senate have unanimously approved a bill that would require American Indian tribes to follow the same rules as other elver fishermen.

The bill was approved Tuesday as the Department of Marine Resources confirmed that the start of the season will be pushed back beyond the original March 22 start date.

The bill would require tribes to issue their fishermen state-approved licenses with individual catch limits. Those are the same regulations state fishermen must follow in the elver, or baby eel, fishery. The Passamaquoddy tribe has said the bill would force it to abandon the tradition of allowing its members equal access to natural resources.

Gov. Paul LePage has 10 days to act on the bill. As emergency legislation, it would take effect immediately.

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