Four lucky winners net new elver licenses

ELLSWORTH — There may be no joy in Mudville, but since last Monday there is almost certainly some delight on Swan’s Island and in Surry.

Last week, the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) awarded four new licenses that entitle their holders to fish during the 2013 elver season that begins March 22. One of those licenses went to Garrett Lemoine of Swan’s Island.

Lemoine was among the more than 5,000 Maine residents who registered late last year for a lottery held by DMR for a chance at one of the four available licenses to fish for elvers using a hand dip net. The licenses became available because they were not renewed by the 2012 licenseholders.

The new license will give Lemoine a crack at a fishery that last year saw harvesters earn upward of $2,600 per pound for their catch. Although final landings figures have not been released, DMR Commissioner Patrick Keliher has estimated that the 2012 elver fisher was worth some $40 million, second only to the state’s lobster fishery in value.

Lemoine was selected for a license through a lottery run by the Maine State Lottery. The other lucky winners were Alyssa Orestis of Searsport, Meredith Perry from Spruce Head and Mark Wakem of Poland.

For more maritime news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.