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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got an email from Jeff Deem, who is one of Virginia's representatives on the Mid Atlantic Council. One of the measures that he is fighting, which is gaining momentum is the concept of coast wide limits and seasons on flounder. Such limits would benefit New York, which is pushing for them to the detriment of Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, etc. Anyway the measure is.

2 Fish, 20 inch minimum with a May 1st to Sept. 30 season.

I am working on where to send letters. . .

To see where this is coming from. The numbers are in for 2008. The unit is 1000's of fish.
StateTargetLandings% Over/Under Target
MA113150+33
RI116200+72
CT77118+53
NY361600+66
NJ801870+9
DE6433+48
MD61125+105
VA342231-32
NC11554-53

The season and limits for 2008 were

StateMinimumPossession LimitSeason
MA17.5"5 fishJune 10 - Aug 15
RI20"7 fishAll Year
CT19.5"5 fishMay 24 - Sept. 1
NY20.5"4 FishMay 15 to Sept 1
NJ18"8 FishMay 24 - Sept. 7
DE19.5"4 FishAll Year
MD (coastal)17.5"3 fishJan. 1 - Oct. 24
MD (Chesapeake)16.5"1 FishJan. 1 - Oct. 24
Potomac River16.5"1 Fish All Year
VA19"5 FishClosed July 21 - 30
NC (internal)14"8 FishAll Year
NC (Ocean)15.5"8 FishAll Year
 

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How did MD end up with the lowest target number, and why is it 1/13th what NJ's number is ? Does anybody have the history on this ?

I confess that I caught one of MD's fish this year. Sorry.

And I believe DE should show as -48% above
 

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Looking at the numbers above, the only way to ensure meeting the reduction is total closure of the flounder fisheries. Imagine the economic crisis that would follow. The only logical thing to do that ensures meeting the goals and yet allow fisherman a few flounder is to implement a slot system. Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The basis years are in the late 90's.

Unfortunately there is a 60/40 commercial/recreational split which exacerbates the problem.
 

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Looking at the numbers above, the only way to ensure meeting the reduction is total closure of the flounder fisheries. Imagine the economic crisis that would follow....
I predicted that the crisis would go Bear Sterns, Lehman, AIG, GM, Flounder. Who's laughing now?
 

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I`m in favor of a coastal creel and limit.An example of why is a lot of NJ fisherman fish in Delaware waters such as "The Old Grounds"and get to keep more fish that the fisherman that live in that state.Lots of MD fisherman fish in Va.because the rules are better.
 

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I'm not quite sure yet where I stand on this. My personal experience is that I'm catching more and bigger flounder than I did throughout the 80's and 90's (in OC), and I'm convinced that the species' management plans are working, but I'm not sure whether we're out of the woods yet. It's clear that the 20", 2-fish standard would significantly decrease numbers across the board, and it appears that MD and NC would be particularly hard hit. In MD's case, maybe deservedly so. Maybe the individual states just need more time under the current system to fine-tune their process for autonomously establishing standards. One thing that seems certain is that MD's flounder regs will be stricter in '09.

FWIW, here's the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's home page

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council - Home Page

You can click on the individuals' pictures to get their contact info. Dwell (let the cursor stay) on the pic, and it should tell you who they are.

Maryland's Contact Info here:

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council - MAFMC Home Page

and VA here:

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council - MAFMC Home Page

The Demersal and Migratory Committe (which includes fluke/flounder) members can be found here:

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council - MAFMC Home Page
 

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I dont see how NJ gets off with that generous limit. I fish NY waters often during the summer and 4 at 20.5 was tough last summer but not impossible, I still caught keepers. I could live with a 2 fish limit actually. I have never bothered to target them in MD.
 

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Jim Hutchinson's article in the The Fisherman reports Marylands Landing about 10% (66,000 fish) over their quota. Who should I believe? Virginia under by 32%. Sorry, I can not believe Jeff Deem's numbers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Buster,

Don't blame the messenger. The document that I got them from (i.e. part of what Jeff sent me) was a memo from Jessica Coakley who works for the Mid Atlantic Council, to the council members, dtd 12 Nov. 2008. Table 7 is on page 11.

To her credit she did state the following:

"The 2008 MRFSS data are incomplete and preliminary. To date, only the first four waves of catch and landings data are available (Table 2). The monitoring Committee does an early review of the MRFSS data because the Council and Commission agreed that recommendations should be made late in teh current year (i.e. 2008) to give the states enough time to enact changes in their regulations for the upcoming year (i.e.2009)."
 
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