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DNR Fisheries Service Seeks Public Input
On 2005 Recreational Summer Flounder Fishery Options
Allowable catch increased, option to enhance creel limits, keep a smaller fish available
ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fisheries Service is seeking feedback on options for the 2005 recreational summer flounder fishery in Maryland. An increase in allowable harvest, coupled with a low catch of flounder in 2004 is providing anglers with options that could offer a lower minimum size and/or an increase in the daily creel limit for the upcoming season.
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's (ASMFC) Summer Flounder Management Board voted in favor of Maryland's 2005 proposal, which includes a variety of options for the up coming season. Anglers can choose one of four options that are being offered for consideration, or provide their own option if they prefer. The options are as follows:
Maryland will be allowed to harvest 141,000 summer flounder from its waters in 2005. This is an increase from the 2004 target of 131,000 fish. A low catch of 64,000 fish in 2004, coupled with data from a volunteer angler survey that DNR conducts with recreational anglers allowed the above options to be created. All four options project to landings at or below the 2005 target of 141,000 fish.
- 16 inch minimum size and a 5 to 8 fish daily creel limit
- 16 inch minimum size and 3 fish daily creel limit (status quo)
- 15.5 inch minimum size and 3 or 4 fish creel limit
- 15 inch minimum size and 1 or 2 fish creel limit
Exceeding the target is possible however, in which case a penalty would implemented to address any overage. Anglers should consider the risk of exceeding the target before submitting their preference of minimum size and creel to DNR. The risk of exceeding the target harvest is ranked in order of risk from lowest to highest (Option A has the lowest risk of exceeding the target and Option D has the highest risk of exceeding the harvest. Anglers should also consider the 2006 target harvest will be increased to 151,000 fish (barring any overage).
Feedback on the flounder options can be made through the DNR website: http://dnrweb.dnr.state.md.us/fish/2005flounder_survey/ , via phone 410-260-8289 or by mail to:
Martin L. Gary
MD DNR Fisheries Service
Tawes State Office Building B-2
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, MD 21401
Comments will be accepted through Wednesday, March 9th, 2005.
February 23, 2005
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 446,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov