PORTLAND — The Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner says the opening of Maine’s lucrative elver season next month could be delayed by two weeks and possibly longer.

Commissioner Patrick Kelleher said Thursday that’s there is a “50-50” chance the start of the season on March 22 will be pushed back because the state will need time to validate tribal licenses once an emergency bill addressing conservation efforts is approved.

The state and Passamaquoddy tribe remain at odds over quotas on elvers, which are baby eels.

An emergency bill dealing with elvers would require tribal fishermen to comply with the same regulations as state fishermen. That would mean dividing the 1,650 pounds allocated to the tribe by using individual quotas. The tribe is pushing for a derby style fishery without individual limits.

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