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Maryland Summer Flounder Survey Hits Halfway Point

Angler turning in a catch card

Annapolis, Md. (August 11, 2011) — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen’s Association (MSSA) report a positive response at the halfway mark of their summer flounder survey.

“We have a 43 percent mail-in return rate. All of the responses have been accurate, legible and 100 percent useful,” said Linda Barker, Ph.D., DNR’s lead statistician on the survey. “This great feedback could help fisheries managers better interpret the data used in determining the overall catch of these fish.”

Beginning in July, volunteers from MSSA began working Flounder Alley, a popular fishing area in the Isle of Wight and Sinepuxent Bays west of Ocean City, to explain the program and distribute survey cards. At the midway point, more than 300 cards have been handed out.

About 80 percent of the responses have come from anglers who access Flounder Alley from private launching locations such as community marinas and private docks. These anglers are the focus of the joint venture and the ones who are usually missed in traditional surveys conducted at public launches and marinas.

“This has been a great experience and opportunity to participate in the fishery management process. All of the anglers we have approached have been hospitable and willing to participate,” said MSSA’s survey volunteer coordinator Frank Watkins.

Watkins urges anglers along Flounder Alley to be on the lookout for his volunteers aboard the survey boat, which is a privately owned and operated boat displaying a large flounder survey banner.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is interested in the results of this survey as a possible check of the standard intercept surveys that NOAA uses to assess recreational fishing activity and contribution. The results will also be presented at the national conference of the American Fisheries Society in September.

For more information on this program and Maryland’s leadership role in the development of better coastal recreational fishing, visit

To stay connected to Maryland’s excellent fishing activity and DNR fisheries news, visit the DNR Fishing Report and Angler’s Log at

Keep up with the Maryland Fisheries Service by following @MDDNRFISH on Twitter.

   August 11, 2011

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly a half-million 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