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The skinny: Maine in for a serious case of eel fever

Slimy GOLD

Maine seeing a serious case of Eel fever

Phillip Parker, 41, of Candia, N.H., was caught recently in Maine with a whopping 41 pounds of baby eels, known as elvers, and no Maine fishing license. The penalty? Up to a $2,000 fine. The market value of his catch? Upwards of $80,000. Seems there's a severe, worldwide shortage in the eel market. Whereas baby eels caught during the 10-week spring run upriver fetched under $30 a pound a decade ago, they bring $2,000 or more a pound today — cash. The 2-to-4 inch, translucent critters are mostly shipped to eel farms in Asia, where they are grown and sold to restaurants and retailers. Maine lawmakers are working on stiffening the law on eels, but many states have no law at all regarding them, the Associated Press reports.

Et tu, Poochie?

That dog loyalty is way overrated

Think your Fido is vigilantly guarding your home when you're out? Maybe not. Just ask an East Wenatchee, Wash., couple who came home one night last week to find a strange man in their kitchen, feeding their dog pudding from the fridge. Naturally, the couple asked what he was doing. He said he was looking for a man to kill. The residents hastened to tell him he had the wrong house, the local World newspaper reports. Shortly after, the stranger helpfully provided his name and left. But as he did, he called the dog, who left with him. The man was quickly tracked down and arrested. But the dog hasn't been seen since.

Call of Justice

This is one strict judge, but fair

Judge Raymond Voet has no patience with people whose ringing cellphones interrupt court business. A posted notice threatens an immediate contempt citation for any noise from electronic devices. The Sentinel-Standard of Ionia, Mich., reports that on Friday, during a prosecutor's closing argument, Voet's new smartphone began requesting voice commands. Voet thinks he accidentally bumped the phone, but he accepts no such excuses. During a break in the trial, he fined himself $25.

Compiled from wire services and other sources.