Section 52A. Eels may be taken commercially in inland waters except ponds having a diked opening to the sea by a licensed fisherman possessing a license to do so for the purpose of sale. The director of fisheries and wildlife is hereby authorized to establish rules and regulations relative to harvest, limit, method of taking, waters where eels may be taken, seasons, time and method of reporting harvest and all other matters pertaining thereto deemed necessary and expedient. The director may issue an annual license upon receipt of a fee of twenty-five dollars authorizing a person to take eels commercially in inland waters.
No person shall take for commercial purposes or attempt to take, with or by the use of an artificial lure, any fish of the species Anguilla rostrata, the North American eel. An artificial lure for the purposes of commercial harvesting of eels shall include but not be limited to, magnetic lures or devices, chemical attractants and tranquillizers, thermal lures, explosives and any other means not authorized under rules and regulations promulgated under the provisions of this section. The permitted commercial taking of eels in inland waters shall be allowed by a pot fishery as specified in rules and regulations promulgated under the provisions of this section.
The commercial taking of elvers, or eels less than 9 inches in length, shall not be permitted in inland waters of the commonwealth.
A violation of the first or second paragraph shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100 or by imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or both. A violation of the third paragraph shall be punished by a fine of not less than $10,000 or by imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or both.