Maryland 2004 Summer Flounder Season Update; New Size and Creel Limit Awaiting AELR Approval
ANNAPOLIS — Maryland's proposed regulations for the 2004 recreational summer flounder fishery have been approved by the Atlantic States Marine Fishery Commission (ASMFC).
The 2004 regulations for Maryland's portion of the Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic Ocean and its coastal bays will be a 16-inch minimum size, 3 fish per person per day creel limit, with no closed season.
The new size and creel limit will be in place as soon as it is approved from The General Assembly's Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review Committee (AELR). Until the new regulations have been approved, the minimum size for flounder remains at 17 inches, with a daily creel of 8 fish per person per day and no closed season.
The option to open at a 16-inch minimum size was developed using data acquired through a cooperative angler survey, where recreational anglers and charter boat captains measured flounder they caught during the 2002 and 2003 recreational seasons.
The survey provided DNR Fisheries Service managers with information that allowed them to better understand the size structure of the summer flounder stock, including young, sub legal fish. This information led to the development of additional minimum size and creel limit options that would not have been possible if the survey had not been conducted. Maryland's proposal also drew compliments from the ASMFC Summer Flounder Management Board. The participants in the survey should be applauded for their efforts in participating in the volunteer angler survey the past two years. This includes recreational anglers and charterboat captains, and especially members of the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermens Association (MSSA) who have been instrumental in the development of the survey. The survey will continue in 2004, and all anglers are encouraged to participate. The survey will be available through the Department of Natural Resource's website, beginning in Mid April at: http://www.dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/
Posted April 5, 2004