Stricter Fluke Limits Possible in 2017

Absecon Bay Sportsman reported that the Flounder fishing keeps getting better each week

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission have announced an approximate 30% decrease in the commercial and recreational summer flounder (fluke) quotas for 2017.

The cuts come in response to the 2016 assessment update, which estimated biomass has been trending down since 2010 and indicates summer flounder has been experiencing overfishing since 2008. Details on how the cuts will translate to recreational regulations in the Northeast states remain to be seen.

However, a grassroots organization called Save the Summer Flounder Fishery Fund (SSFFF) is hoping that better data could improve the stock assessment models before the cuts are implemented.

The group, which formed seven years ago when the fluke fishery appeared in danger of a shutdown and funded research that caused managers to reevaluate their numbers, is currently funding independent fishery scientists with the goal of creating a more comprehensive fluke stock assessment model.

“This proposed cut is precisely why the research currently being conducted by teams from Rutgers and Cornell with full funding from SSFFF and its partners is so important,” said Nick Cicero, Sales Manager at Folsom Corporation and a founding member of SSFFF. “The new stock modeling information the project will deliver should help NOAA Fisheries managers make decisions based on more comprehensive and timely information than is currently available. We sincerely hope that NOAA Fisheries can put off the proposed cuts till they conduct and peer review a new fluke stock assessment.” ‎

19 on “Stricter Fluke Limits Possible in 2017

    1. Angelo G

      The commercial fishermen will destroy the Fluke fishery.
      Cut there take 50% and give them subsidies for 5 years and then end it.
      Seafood is the only wild caught food we still can buy,if you want it catch it or get it from someone you know that is a recreational fisherman. There will be no Fluke or Striped Bass left soon
      because of there fishing practices.
      They are killing the party boat business and the sportsmen,marinas,tackel companys,boat makers,ect that pump thousands of dollars into the economy every year to take a few fish.

  1. Jeffrey

    I live in Massachusetts and I can only name one spot that has them with consistents. That’s vineyard sound. Anywhere else they just seam to be by catch. So, about time I’m saying…

    I heard from recreational boaters last year that they were catching them great in a area, then. commercial draggers would come in and nothing could be caught afterward. Do away with commercial fishing. You want fish catch them yourself .

    1. Mark Bova

      I ve seen on line videos of commercial netters with hundred s of undersized fluke in their nets ; do any size and possession limits apply to them and if no why not ? And if you tell me they pay a fee each year to keep these undersized fish why can’t the recreational fisherman do the same if it’s about the money
      So if these commercial fishermen can keep these undersized fish for a fee it’s ok even if fluke populations are dwindling
      How about a limit like 2 or 3 fish with a minimum of 16″ for maybe a couple of months than the other months during open season 18 ” or greater with a vote on what months to choose when these regs apply

      1. Mike

        The sad thing about their nets is that fish that are undersized or not the targeted fish get thrown back, but the nets do them great harm, and probably kill many of the fluke. Especially the one’s that get crushed in the back of the net. Commercial fisherman can keep them at 14″ . I did meet a older gentleman who fished RI waters and the two of us were buying squid off the fishing boat in New London. He said he stick fishes for fluke and the four of them are allowed to bring in 50# of fluke to port to be sold each day. He was buying 200 lbs of squid….way more that my few pounds that I was freezing so I could fish without stopping at the bait store.

    2. John Rapetsky

      That’s right do away with the commercial netting. If someone that’s not a fishermen and they would like to eat fish should get their fish from a independent hook and line person. I’m out their every week and nothing comes up but shorts. With 5 people on a boat we have never came close to a limit. You need honest people to conduct a survey. I’ll be such a person if asked. Their are other ways to achieve a better stock then killing the lively hood of fishing people. Commercial trawlers are the most devastating to the stocks. I’ve gone out and had a decent trip one day only to learn that 3 or 4 commercial trawlers would drag everything in the middle of the night.

  2. Joseph

    I’m all for stricter numbers as long as there is a massive slash in commercial netting allowances. They are doing far more damage than what’s admitted. I had a friend that worked on a drag boat and he would send me videos sometimes of a lot of dead crushed fluke being tossed overboard because they were either to small or to mangled to sell. He also told me how there were times when more dead was sent back to the water than what was kept.

  3. Ddo

    I was in a yak in to while they dumped mangled fish near me stripers, scup, fluke what a waste. Still did well this summer from my kayak with 3 -6 keepers every trip, but the waste is ridiculous not to mention the amount of dog fish this attracts in near the shore, which in turn I imagine hurts other fisheries with the dog fish hovering around (shellfish,crab,lobster)

  4. chris

    i drifted half of narragansett bay fishing for fluke, two weekends ago caught just 2 non keepers and there were 3 of us, iv seen drag boats come all the way up the seekonk river all the way into pawtucket which i heard was illegal, the commercial fishery is decimating fish populations in narragansett bay.

    1. John Haldin

      U bet they are wiping out the fish. A dragger at the Jamestown bridge area had a trail of discards 1/2 mile long this spring! When is this State going to wake up and do something , when there’s no fish left?

  5. Pat

    I was a commercial rod and reeler for the past 30 years fishing the Rhode Island beaches, now retired. In the past 5 years or so I have seen a decline in the quality of fish caught there and the amount of fish to meet our 50 lb. quota. I have seen 10 draggers fishing abreast sweeping the beach at one time also, in the fog one morning, hearing inside of me, fishing in 45 ft. of water, a dragger pulling his net. They make one tow and everything in their path is in their nets. Also, go to Block Island and see all the gill nets stretched for miles. I my opinion these nets are KILLING the fluke population not the rod and reelers. Everyone has a right to make a living by fishing, but, in my opinion and that of many others, keep the draggers off shore, where they have the ability to go and do away with gillnetting that snares everything that swims by. This isn’t rocket science and doesn’t take a costly study or years of data collection to figure out!

    1. Rob

      Pat’s said all in a nut shell the draggersare ruining the fluke fishing by raping the sea bottom of life .when will the state look into this problem .i won’t even fish the ocean any more . After the draggers go bye in the middle of the night we try to fish but it’s like drifting your line across a desert.

  6. Rick

    Commercial fishing is not the problem. The NOAA, NMFS, & AMFS is the problem. They have successfully used a divide and conquer strategy between recreational, commercial, & charter fishermen, to meet their agenda. Stricter regulations are not the answer. Smarter regulations are the answer as well as using real numbers, science and experience. A degree in marine biology does not make you an expert on any fishery. It has been proven that the NOAA has used skewed and fabricated data on numerous occasions to calculate quotas and season bag limits. Here is a nice disclaimer from the NOAA’s web site when you try to see what the current catch and quotas are………” The user acknowledges that preliminary statistics will be revised before being posted as final, and that the direction and magnitude of revisions can not be predicted” . wake up! they are using our tax dollars to over regulate the entire industry, putting tackle shops, commercial and charter fisherman out of business. Could easily go on but rant done…

  7. Bill

    I say the bulk of the quota cuts should happen in NY/NJ/CT. They always seem to be able to set their size limits lower and their bag limits than anyone else. Meanwhile, we in RI/MA will be down to a couple fish and they will have to be doormats to keep them and that will be the end of the shore fishery for 3-5 years.

    I proposed this idea to my dad when I was a kid… How about we have a rotating 100% commercial/recreational moratorium on one kind fish each year. So, one year, no fluke; The next year, no seabass; No tautog the next year, and so on. In addition, put some strict conservative quotas on every fishery so that overfishing NEVER happens. All fisheries will sustain through most years and have a banner year during the moratorium year. The last piece required would say that you can reduce bag limits and increase size every year, but you can only increase bag limits and decrease size every 15 years or so. Who’s with me?

  8. Jay

    ??? must be missing something. In June we were catching fluke and sea bass on the Cape better than the last 10 years combined. At one point stopped baiting the hook on a diamond jig and bucktail teaser and was still doubling up. Mostly short fluke but non-stop catching……..just a fluke?

  9. Dean Benjamin

    Fluke fishing in eastern Ct.was excellent in 2016! And early in the season,opening week.I know captains who were leaving by New London and going over to Greenport,and I was catching them 3miles from their docks! but there was about 3weeks. when draggers were working the mouth,of the Thames River.(vixens ledge,to the dumping grounds). and you couldn’t buy a bite! They need to put limits on how close those boats come to shore!it’s not like THEY only get to keep, 5 fish

  10. Richard Harrison

    Ban all commercial netting Completely. Leave something other then a memory for our childrens children other then memories of what use to be. Eat fish live longer, but catch it yourself!

  11. Ronald Petenko

    The NJ & NY angler fishing limits & size are all bull shit so that the commercial fishing industry can profit on all sizes & species. So this means the weekend angler suffers the blunt of this segregated law. I have been fishing the Sandy Hook area & Raritan Bay for over 40 years regularly. I want to know how come no one is concerned or informed of the drag netting that goes on in the Raritan bay & inlets. I know this goes on regulary because nI have seen them out their at night alway 1 or 2 draggers. Sometimes one on the NJ side & the other on the NY side. One year they dragged the entire bay the night before Woodbridge & Perth Amboy’s Fluke Tournament. You couldn’t even catch a dam Sea Robin that day. So they can take all their bull shit angler laws & Limits and stick it where the sun does not shine. Good Luck for 2018

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