HALLOWELL — The Maine elver fishing season gets under way on Sunday, March 22, with the industry operating under some new rules.
This year, the total allowable catch (TAC) of elvers established by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is 9,688 pounds, an amount equal to last year’s landings. The TAC will be revisited before the start of the 2018 season.
Non-tribal harvesters will share a TAC of 7,566 pounds. Harvesters from the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Penobscot Nation, the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians and Aroostook Band of Micmac Indians will share a TAC of 2,122 pounds.
A new law establishes a crew license that allows someone to assist a licensed harvester but not to remove elvers from the water themselves.
Licensed elver dealers will be required to record all their purchase transactions with DMR using magnetic swipe cards similar to the ones harvesters use to record their landings and sales. The new swipe cards must be used to record both purchases from fishermen and transactions between dealers.