ELLSWORTH — With a month left to go in the elver season, the harvest appears to be closing in on an earlier end date.
According to the Department of Marine Resources website, as of 5 p.m. on Monday, May 9, Maine dealers had reported buying 8,503.87 pounds of elvers since the season opened March 22. The reported value of those landings was $12,408,805 – an average of $1,459 per pound. On Monday evening, though, an Ellsworth elver dealer was offering fishermen $1,125 per pound, according to the sign outside his Water Street shop.
With more than 8,500 pounds already in the bag, only 1,184.13 pounds of Maine’s federally mandated 9,688-pound elver landings quota (12.2 percent) remains available for harvest. Of that total, just under 1,044 pounds is allocated to harvesters licensed by the DMR.
Of the balance, 61.68 pounds remain for fishermen from the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, 3.03 pounds are available to harvesters from the Aroostook Band of Micmacs and 147.16 pounds remain available to fishermen from the Penobscot Nation.
The elver fishery was closed to harvesters from the Passamaquoddy Tribe during the last week of April because they exceeded their annual landings quota by 71.68 pounds. That amount will be deducted from the quota allocated to the tribe for the 2017 elver fishing season.