Anglers Face ¯Significant¯ Fluke Regulation Increases in 2017 - The Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-21-2017, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Anglers Face ‘Significant’ Fluke Regulation Increases in 2017

Anglers Face ‘Significant’ Fluke Regulation Increases in 2017

Recreation and fishing and boating advocacy groups are urging members to submit public comments by Wednesday to stop a potential reduction in summer flounder quota that could lead to significant restrictions on catching the popular species in 2017 and 2018.

In a federal register notice, NOAA Fisheries is proposing an 11.30 and 13.23 million pound ABC for 2017 and 2018 respectively. If approved, the 2017 ABC of 11.23 million pounds would represent a 29% reduction relative to 2016 and the lowest quota in the history of summer flounder management. On top of that, NOAA Fisheries is reporting that the recreational sector exceeded its 2016 recreational harvest limit and that the overage would need to be paid back in 2017. The result would produce a reduction going into 2017 close to 40 percent for recreational anglers.

If the regulations pass, anglers will face a short season and significantly higher size limits on the fish, which could have devastating economic effects on the Shore fishing and boating industries.

Though summer flounder stocks were at some of the highest levels in the species’ history by 2007, the stock has displayed average to below average recruitment and the spawing stock biomass has dipped in the years since, prompting the reduction despite that fact that mortality attributed to fishing activity has decreased. The Recreational Fishing Alliance has lobbied for new studies to create benchmarks for management purposes, which could reveal no need to increase regulations. Fishing advocates have also argued anglers are catching more fish because the stocks are healthier than ever, and have raised concerns that if the recreational size limit rises beyond an 18-inch minimum, only female fish would be considered “keepers.”

“Fisherman and coastal communities know that summer flounder is one of the most important fisheries in the mid-Atlantic,” the RFA said in a statement. “This fishery is also intrinsically linked to many states tourism industry.”
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-21-2017, 03:39 PM
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NOAA doesn't have a clue what is going on with the flounder fishery. There should be a Federal limit of 4 , 16 inch fish per person. All the states could be the same. I guess I'll be going out of Delaware more often. I fish the Delaware Bay often and I have to keep the NJ and DE regulations on the boat with the crazy fluke and striper regs.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-21-2017, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Know what you mean Whaler my boats are down in Cape May county and even if I fish the Delaware side of the bay I am required to follow Jersey size and limits.
Last summer if I fished North in the bay I could catch shorter fish but I could not run out into the ocean to come in through Cold Springs inlet, that would make my legal catch using the canal illegal.

The off shore reefs are loaded with undersized fish and the run just isn't worth it any more.
I feel 4 -16" fish @ man is fine. Watching how people are manhandling the undersized fish they have almost no chance of survival anyhow so let them keep it and count against their limit.

Flounder overall has gotten steadily worse than the the days before the 13" fish limit was imposed.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2017, 08:46 PM
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I've seen cases where size and creel limits along with slot limits have worked.
but the biggest factor in these cases was the limits and restrictions on commercial fishing.

in the case of summer flounder in NJ ,the only thing I think we are doing is providing the commercial draggers more and bigger fish

Da hawk ate my baby!!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-04-2017, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Well it is final new Jersey anglers are now allowed just 3 fish at 19" inches while Delaware and Virginia can keep 5.
Not sure of the season length or when it opens and how the commercial guys were affected.

The recreational fisherman takes it to the chops again.
This should be the death knoll for the boat livery and party boat industry along the entire Jersey coast and Delaware Bay.

Its a shame, there are plenty of fish around, just not much for the average guy to take home.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-05-2017, 11:14 AM
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It is difficult to understand how they are placing blame on the recreational fisherman.
Several local party boats have sold their operation or moved to North Jersey where the fishing seems to be better. I know of two other captains who are considering retiring from the party boat business and switching over to whale watching.

During the summer I see draggers from as far south as the Carolina's unloading their catches, mostly fluke.
I agree the quota cuts need to be on commercial hauls and the liberal byproduct they can keep.

The poor recreational fishing is starting not only to affect the bait and tackle industry in south Jersey, but the tourism industry as well. Each year we lose more tourists and dollars to places like Delaware, Maryland, and South Carolina.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 04:02 PM
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I've been exclusively surf fishing for the past five years, and while I know my timing and ability to read the beach (kinda have to just set up somewhere where the fam can relax and we're not spending $100 on beach tags, but still have a nice beach/sand) the biggest fluke I've reeled in was barely 16". Otherwise it's been a few sandsharks, skates, and every time I wind up fighting some 2-3ft wingspan cownose ray. chucking squid and leaving it be hasn't done much since I was a teenager. Now I catch almost all my flounder on gulp, or sometimes squid on a floating striper rig in the wash.

Wouldn't dare spending $45 pp on a 4 hour party boat unless we were ready to take a nice ride and not much else. Have a lot of good memories from pulling in keeper flounder and weighing up for the pot at the end, but again that stopped in my teenage years.
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