In this May 25, 2017, file photo, hundreds of baby eels, known as elvers, swim in a bucket after being caught on the Penobscot River in Brewer. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty | AP

Maine fishermen have a few days left to apply to participate in a lottery for a license to harvest baby eels, which are among the most valuable resources in the state.

Fishermen catch baby eels, called elvers, from rivers and streams in Maine so they can be used by aquaculture companies. The eels are raised to maturity for use as food.

Maine is taking entries for the elver license lottery until 4:30 p.m. Feb. 21. There are nine available licenses. The state caps the total number of elver licenses at 425.

The elvers were worth more than $2,300 per pound in 2018, which was a record-breaking year for the fishery. They’re typically worth well over $1,000 per pound even in a below average year. The elvers are subject to strict quotas designed to prevent overfishing.