ELLSWORTH — Nine days into the fishing season, it appears that cold water temperatures are slowing the annual spring run of elvers into Maine rivers.
As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, the Department of Marine Resources reported, licensed dealers had purchased just 776.1 pounds of the translucent baby eels, worth $1,914,037, since the season began on March 22. The overall annual quota for the 10-week season that ends in June is 9,688 pounds.
The pace of landings is picking up. As of last Tuesday evening, March 27, harvesters had landed just 114.95 pounds over the first six days of the season. In the next week, landings totaled 661.15 pounds.
During the first week of the season, dealers reported paying harvesters as much as $2,800 per pound for their catch, with a reported average price of $2,747. By 6 p.m. Tuesday, the average price had fallen to $2,466 per pound.