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State Makes Changes to Fluke, Sea Bass Regulations

Regulations for this seasons are more stringent than 2013

Patch File Photo
Patch File Photo
Fishing regulations for summer flounder, commonly known as fluke, and sea bass have changed for the 2014 fishing season, state officials said Monday.

The minimum size for fluke is 18-inches, up a half-inch from last year. The open season on the popular bottom fish will run from May 23 to Sept. 27 with a five fish per angler possession limit.

For sea bass, fish must be 12.5-inches in length, with a 15 fish possession limit from May 19 to June 30, a 3 fish possession limit from July 1 to Aug. 31, a 15 fish possession limit from Sept. 1 to Sept. 6 and 15 fish possession limit from Oct. 18 to Dec. 31.

Much of the reasoning behind more stringent fluke regulations has nothing to do with the health of the fishery or the preferences of state officials – estimates actually suggest the fishery is at its largest and healthiest point in years – but much to do with federal management policies.

In past years, northeast and mid-Atlantic coastal states managed fluke under what is known as a "conservation equivalency" program, allowing each state to promulgate its own regulations based on a federal quota. But New Jersey was on the losing end of a multi-state vote earlier this year that led to a switch to what is known as "coastwide" regulation of the fishery – effectively, setting the same regulations from state to state in a given region.

In the past, New Jersey had been sandwiched between New York – which had extremely stringent regulations, to the point where many anglers gave up fluke fishing – and Delaware, where there were lower minimum size limits and longer seasons.

Now, the states will share regulations.
Chuck Cumella April 28, 2014 at 04:11 PM
Doesn't pay to leave the dock Such. BS The rec guys didn't kill the fishery
ken April 28, 2014 at 08:22 PM
Can someone please explain to me why a fluke fillet is less expensive than a steak, comparing it in a supermarket, or comparing a seafood store to a butcher shop? You can raise a cow, try raising a fluke. Seems the law of supply and demand says the commercial quota is the problem.
Daniel Nee April 29, 2014 at 12:12 AM
Ken - Probably because the commercial guys can keep 14-inchers.
Chuck Cumella April 29, 2014 at 07:08 AM
Daniel. Exactly my point. The recreational fishermen did not kill the fishery. The commercial guys did.
Rock.n.Roll April 29, 2014 at 07:24 AM
Yeah, getting tougher and tougher to go out any more. With the cost of gas, being able to hit weather (water temps...water condition...winds....tides), finding "keeper" fish, when you can find time to go, gonna get like the "winter flounder" season...just not worth it. Way to go BIG Government, screw up just about everything! Along with the unfairness of commercial fleet to keep must smaller fish, dragging the ocean where us little guys fish!

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