Maine’s annual rush to catch valuable baby eels prized by expensive restaurants and Asian markets will likely be more successful this year because of warmer weather, fishermen say.

Elvers cost more at the dock than any other fishery in the state, and are among the most lucrative in the country, sometimes fetching more than $2,000 per pound. Maine has the only significant elver fishery in the country, and the season begins Tuesday.

But Maine’s elver fishermen are coming off a difficult year. Fishermen caught less than 5,300 pounds of the baby eels against a quota of nearly 10,000 in 2015. Many fishermen blamed the slow year on a cold spring, in which the rivers where elvers swim were still frozen in late March.

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