Department of Marine Resources Acting Commissioner Patrick Keliher this week confirmed he is in the running for a permanent appointment as the agency’s chief. Keliher also said that he will stay on as acting commissioner until the end of the year.

About the appointment, Keliher said Gov. Paul LePage’s office, which is handling the search for a new DMR chief, will have a decision, “In late December or January,” he said. “I’m being considered, yes.”

LePage’s press secretary, Adrienne Bennett, confirmed that a new DMR head will likely be announced in January.

“The governor and his staff will continue to reach out to folks in the industry to get input on who they’d like to see” in the position, said Bennett.

Norman Olsen resigned as head of the DMR on July 20.

Keliher joined the agency in 2007 as the director of Sea Run Fisheries and Habitat. Prior to his state service, he was executive director of the Atlantic Salmon Commission. At the Sept. 14 meeting of the Lobster B Zone Council meeting, a couple of people said they approved of Keliher’s performance to date.

“I like this guy. I think he’s a straight-up guy,” said Kenneth Lemoine Jr., who represents Swans Island. “I wish everyone would take the time to meet him or go to one of the meetings where he’s at.”