AUGUSTA, Maine — The deadline is nearing for a Maine lottery in which the winners will get the right to fish for baby eels.

Baby eels, called elvers, are often worth more than $1,000 per pound to fishermen. They are sold to Asian aquaculture companies for use as food.

The deadline to enter the lottery online is Monday at 5 p.m. Applicants who preferred to submit paper applications had to do so at Maine Department of Marine Resources offices by 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 12. Applications are not accepted by mail.

Maine fishermen are allowed to harvest a total of about 9,700 pounds of elvers in a short fishing season that happens every spring. The licenses given out in the lottery will be the first new elver licenses issued since 2013.

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