Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Here is some important fluke news. This is an OPPORTUNITY to lengthen the NJ fluke fishing season. There will be a meeting on this extension in Galloway, as noted in this RFA release.
I’ll highlight one important angle before you read it below: “Negative outcomes of the scheduled assessment could result in an even more tightly regulated fishery in 2014.
"Taking advantage of the additional fishing days could result in a significantly shorter season or possibly going up in size limit in 2014," cautioned Capt. Nowalsky.”
ASMFC APPROVES SUMMER FLOUNDER RELIEF
NY Fluke At 19 Inches, NJ To Consider Seasonal Restrictions
April 18, 2013 - The Atlantic States Marines Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Black Sea Bass, Scup and Summer Flounder Management Board met via conference call on Wednesday, April 17 and approved Addendum XXIV to the Summer Flounder Fishery Management Plan.
The Addendum will allow the states of New Jersey and New York to utilize potential liberalizations that were not enacted by other member states. As a result of the action, New Jersey will have the opportunity, if approved by the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council, to extend the currently proposed season of May 18 to September 16 by up to 11 days; the bag limit and minimum size of five fish at 17.5 inches would remain the same. New York will have the opportunity to reduce their summer flounder size limit to 19 inches with a season of May 1 - September 29.
"This addendum is a reflection of the realization of managers that stricter regulations cannot continue to be imposed on anglers for following the size, season, bag limits that are prescribed for a resource that is said to not be overfished nor have overfishing occurring," said Capt. Adam Nowalsky, commissioner proxy for Assemblyman Nelson Albano on the ASMFC and Chairman of Recreational Fishing Alliance's New Jersey Chapter (RFA-NJ).
Last year there was a significant coastwide underage in harvest of summer flounder, however, New York and New Jersey were still required to take reductions in 2013 as a result of the current process. Every state except New Jersey will be more liberal in 2013, although New Jersey's reduction will be less as a result of the addendum. "New Jersey's commissioners, especially those from the Bureau of Marine Fisheries, worked very hard in the days leading up to this decision to ensure New Jersey anglers were not left out of the sharing of the pie based on Addendum XXIV," added Capt. Nowalsky.
As ASMFC commissioner, Capt. Nowalsky questioned on the call what states will do in 2014 if the current process is not changed, as significant reductions may be needed if NOAA Fisheries' recreational data collection system does not adequately capture the reduced effort that is likely in New York and New Jersey as a result of the devastation for Superstorm Sandy. The Black Sea Bass, Scup and Summer Flounder Management Board has convened a sub-committee to look at the process of how annual specifications are set, and Capt. Nowalsky will serve on that committee.
Historically, the recreational catch estimation tool has reported higher landings when states have had more fishing days. The 2014 summer flounder quota is presently slated for an approximate 10% reduction, although a stock assessment will be performed this year. The Save the Summer Flounder Fishery Fund has championed research on sex-based modeling of populations of summer flounder that it hopes to have integrated into future assessments. Negative outcomes of the scheduled assessment could result in an even more tightly regulated fishery in 2014.
Below: Range and populations of summer flounder.)
"Taking advantage of the additional fishing days could result in a significantly shorter season or possibly going up in size limit in 2014," cautioned Capt. Nowalsky.
In other news, the management board also voted to reduce the required black sea bass reductions for 2013 by 25%. This came as news of the average size fish landed in 2012 was less than originally projected, declining from 1.84 pounds to 1.66 pounds, equating to less pounds of fish landed last season further reducing the needed reductions in 2013. New Jersey's Marine Fisheries Council will be meeting on May 2 at the Galloway branch of the Atlantic County Library at 4 pm to decide the 2013 black sea bass regulations.
Whether to extend the summer flounder season will likely be on the agenda, as well.
Keep up to date on RFA-NJ efforts at www.joinrfanj.org.