A Gardiner man has been charged with illegal possession of elvers in Waldoboro and a Jefferson man has been charged with exceeding his individual quota, Maine Marine Patrol spokesman Jeff Nichols said Thursday, April 7 in a news release.
Dana Wayne-Holmes, 61, of Gardiner, was arrested on Saturday, April 2 in Waldoboro after an investigation by the Maine Marine Patrol indicated that he was attempting to purchase and sell elvers without a license.
Wayne-Holmes held an elver dealer license in 2015 but did not hold a dealer license for this year, Nichols said.
The Maine Marine Patrol allegedly seized 13 1/2 pounds of elvers from Wayne-Holmes worth more than $18,000 based on per-pound value at the time of the violation.
Illegal possession of elvers is a criminal offense and is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
Also charged in the investigation was licensed harvester Irving Banks, 47, of Jefferson, who was accused of exceeding his individual elver quota, which is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
In addition to fines and jail time, Banks faces a possible one-year administrative suspension of his current license. Holmes faces a possible one-year suspension of his right to obtain a dealer license in the future.
“It is a privilege to have an elver license in Maine,” Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher said.
“This is one of the most lucrative fisheries we have and one that has required a great deal of work by the Maine DMR and law-abiding members of industry to sustain and manage,” he said. “I will use the full extent of my authority to investigate and bring to justice anyone who violates laws that help us protect this valuable fishery.”