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Elver harvest to begin Monday, with warnings about overcrowding

The Commissioner of Marine Resources had a stern warning for fishermen and dealers to avoid crowding and observe the 6 foot social distancing rule amid COVID-19.

BRISTOL, Maine — Trucks and trailers were positioned next to the Pemaquid River Saturday, as eager elver fishermen prepared for the season to begin after a one week delay. 

The Commissioner of Marine Resources announced the annual two month season will start Monday morning, but had a stern warning for fishermen and dealers to avoid crowding and observe the 6 foot social distancing rule to avoid the spread of the coronavirus, COVID 19.  

The small area at the mouth of the River, where it empties into the salt water, is one of many popular elver fishing spots in the midcoast. Fishermen typically compete for the best spots to set their nets.

RELATED: Elver fishing in Maine will begin March 30 after being delayed due to COVID-19

Last year, the tiny glass eels were being bought by dealers for $2,000 per pound. Fishermen have said the price is down this year, but any income will be a help as the economy struggles due to the impact of COVID 19.

The state has strict limits on who can fish and how many elvers they’re allowed to take. This year it’s imposed special rules to reduce crowding at fishing sites and at dealer locations. The Department of Marine Resources says if those rules are not followed the commissioner could cancel the season.

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