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Second Regular Session of the 122nd

H.P. 1421 - L.D. 2020

An Act Relating to Elver Fishing

     Emergency preamble. Whereas, acts of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and

     Whereas, the management of the American eel population in Maine is dependent on elver dealers reporting harvest data to the Department of Marine Resources in a timely manner; and

     Whereas, this legislation must be enacted prior to the end of the elver fishing season on May 31st to ensure the Department of Marine Resources receives harvest data in time to use that information for developing a long-term conservation plan for the American eel; and

     Whereas, in the judgment of the Legislature, these facts create an emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine and require the following legislation as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore,

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

     Sec. 1. 12 MRSA §6505-A, sub-§2, as amended by PL 1999, c. 534, §1, is further amended to read:

     2. Eligibility. An elver fishing license may be issued only to an individual who:

The department may not issue more than 827 elver fishing licenses each elver fishing season.

     Sec. 2. 12 MRSA §6505-A, sub-§2-A, as enacted by PL 1999, c. 534, §2, is repealed.

     Sec. 3. 12 MRSA §6575-B, sub-§2-B, as enacted by PL 1999, c. 534, §5, is amended to read:

     2-B. Type and amount of gear. It is unlawful for a person to immerse elver fishing gear other than the types and amounts authorized pursuant to this subsection. In determining the number of traps or nets that may be immersed, the following limits apply.

     Sec. 4. 12 MRSA §6864, sub-§8 is enacted to read:

     8. Reporting. A dealer licensed under this section shall report the total annual harvest of elvers received by that dealer to the department within 30 days after the end of the elver fishing season. The commissioner shall prescribe how that data and any other information necessary for a meaningful analysis of the elver harvest are reported to the department.

     Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this Act takes effect when approved.

Effective April 4, 2006.

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