Animal Planet's Eels of Fortune Animal Planet's Eels of Fortune

The network that brought you Hillbilly Handfishin' and River Monsters is now turning its attention to another slimy, slippery underwater creature. Animal Planet has ordered the new series Eel of Fortune, which follows a group of New England fishermen as they search for the elver eel.

What's so special about the elusive creature? The fish is considered a delicacy in many countries, and the price for the elver eel has skyrocketed in recent years. Where the fish (which look like cellophane noodles) was once valued at $50 a pound, fishermen can now make a whopping $2,400 per pound.

Eel of Fortune (which is still a working title) centers on the lucky fishermen who manage to obtain one of the 400 elver eel fishing permits allowed annually in Maine — one of only two states where elver eel harvesting is legal, the other being South Carolina. The competition gets fierce during the March-to-May fishing season, as fishermen face rough terrain, frigid waters and poachers. But the reward is sweet: Elver eel hauls can be worth as much as $20,000 to $40,000 in one night.

Left/Right Productions is behind the show, which will launch in 2013.

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