Governor Signs Bill to Protect Fishery Resources

For Immediate Release: Thursday, March 29, 2012

Contact: Adrienne Bennett (207) 287-2531

DMR Contact: Deirdre Gilbert (207) 624-6553


Governor Signs Bill to Protect Fishery Resources


AUGUSTA – Governor Paul LePage today signed LD 1765, “An Act to Sustain the Elver Fishery.” The emergency legislation makes changes to the closed periods of elver harvesting, as well as increases fines and penalties for elver fishery offenses. Today, the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) publicized new laws regarding elver harvesting which are now in effect.

“The closed periods for the elver fishery in Maine are now Tuesday noon to Wednesday noon and Saturday noon to Sunday noon,” stressed DMR Commissioner Pat Keliher.

“The Legislature has also enacted increased fines and penalties for elver offenses, due to the considerable illegal activity that has resulted from the high prices the past two years,” Keliher explained.

Specifically, the changes are:

           Molesting elver gear. First offense: $2000 fine and a mandatory 3-year suspension. Second offense: $2000 fine and permanent revocation of the elver license.  

           Untagged elver gear. First offense: $2000 fine and a mandatory 1-year suspension. Second offense: $2000 fine and permanent revocation of the elver license.

           Fishing during the closed season or fishing during a closed period. First offense: mandatory 1-year suspension. Second offense: permanent revocation of the elver license.

           Fishing without a license. First offense: $2000 fine and loss of eligibility for the elver license lottery for 1 year. Second offense: $2000 fine, permanent loss of eligibility for the lottery, and it becomes a criminal offense which could result in jail time.

DMR wants to ensure that harvesters are aware that if they have existing elver violations on your record, these violations will count as their first offense under this new law. If they are convicted of another elver violation during the remainder of this season, it will count as their second offense.

“This means that your license will be permanently revoked,” stressed Commissioner Keliher. “While these penalties may seem severe, they reflect the seriousness with which both the Legislature and the Department are viewing violations in this fishery. The penalties are intended to provide a meaningful deterrent, in order to ensure the proper management of this valuable resource.”

Any questions or clarifications can be directed towards local Marine Patrol officers or the Division 1 Boothbay Harbor office (west of Port Clyde) at (207) 633-9595 or Division 2 Lamoine office (east of Port Clyde) at (207) 667-3373.

Other public laws signed by the Governor on March 29, 2012 include: 

An Act Concerning Solid Waste Facility Citizen Advisory Committees

H.P. 522 – L.D. 693

An Act To Stabilize Solid Waste Management Funding

H.P. 937 – L.D. 1278

An Act To Address Research and Teaching in Maine’s Institutions of Higher Education by Amending the Laws Governing the Purchase of Goods and Services by the State Involving Institutions of Higher Education

S.P. 541 – L.D. 1631

An Act To Clarify the Site Location of Development Laws Regarding Exemptions for Previously Developed Sites

S.P. 547 – L.D. 1648

An Act Concerning the Collection of Child Support Obligations (Emergency)

S.P. 549 – L.D. 1650

An Act To Facilitate Recovery of Debts Owed to the State for Indigent Legal Services

S.P. 558 – L.D. 1659

An Act To Amend the Law Governing Abatements of Property Taxes for Infirmity or Poverty and the Administration of the Circuitbreaker Program

H.P. 1245 – L.D. 1693

An Act To Prevent the Theft and Illegal Sale of Copper and Other Metals (Emergency)

H.P. 1260 – L.D. 1708

An Act To Amend the Motor Vehicle Laws

H.P. 1262 – L.D. 1710

An Act To Require Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Additional Residential Occupancies

H.P. 1286 – L.D. 1744

An Act Concerning Technical Changes to the Tax Laws

H.P. 1293 – L.D. 1752

An Act To Improve the Department of Environmental Protection’s Annual Waste Discharge License Fee System (Emergency)

H.P. 1302 – L.D. 1768

An Act Regarding Insurance Adjusters and Reporting Requirements for Insurance Companies

H.P. 1305 – L.D. 1773

An Act Regarding the Matching Funds Provisions of the Maine Clean Election Act

S.P. 612 – L.D. 1774

An Act Relating to the Governance of the Maine State Housing Authority

S.P. 615 – L.D. 1778

An Act To Repeal the Requirement That Canadian Big Game or Wild Turkey Hunters Be Accompanied by Guides Licensed in the State and To Clarify the Laws Concerning the Civil Violation of Trespass by Motor Vehicle

H.P. 1310 – L.D. 1785

An Act To Implement Recommendations of the Commission To Study Priorities and Timing of Judicial Proceedings in State Courts

S.P. 622 – L.D. 1802

An Act To Allow the Change of Location of a Licensed Large Game Shooting Area

S.P. 630 – L.D. 1822

An Act To Authorize the Establishment of Pilot Projects for Community Paramedicine

H.P. 1359 – L.D. 1837

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