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The Virginia Marine Resources Commission voted this week on the new size limit -- up to 18.5 inches from 16.5 inches -- as part of an attempt to reduce the recreational flounder catch by 53 percent from 2006.

That is the largest attempted reduction since Virginia joined other Atlantic coast states in a year-by-year management plan for flounder in 1999. Virginia anglers overshot the state's 2006 target for flounder by roughly 33 percent.

The new size limit -- as well as a catch limit of five fish, and a brief closure of the season from July 23 to 28 -- is a response to last year's big catch but also part of a long-term goal to rebuild the flounder breeding stock by 2013.
 
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