AUGUSTA (AP) — The Maine House and Senate have approved a bill that tightens rules in the state’s lucrative elver fishery.

The bill approved Wednesday gives the Department of Marine Resources power to delay the start of the season and the ability to revoke the licenses of fishermen for out-of-state fishing violations.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage has 10 days to act on the bill. As an emergency measure, it would go into effect immediately.

Elvers are baby eels that have ballooned in value in recent years to become the second most valuable fishery in the state behind lobster.

DMR commissioner Patrick Keliher has said the March 22 start of the season will likely be delayed as the state waits for bills affecting the fishery to be approved in order to finalize licenses.

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