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I got this from VMRC folks today in preparation for the ad-hoc committee next week. It is not the only way that this may turn out or options, but this gives everybody a flavor of what MIGHT be happening.

Please let the discussions begin.

Tom

Note: for several years the ASMFC has only allowed statewide regulations. That is again the case for 2007. However, from past years' data, it is clear that changing to a high size limit has a much greater negative impact on Wave 3 (May-June) landings from the seaside of Eastern Shore than the Chesapeake. During Wave 4 (July - August), the recreational flounder fishery is predominantly a Chesapeake fishery, and changes to higher size limits do not impact the landings to the same extent exhibited in the seaside fishery, but the seasonal closures of past years (1999-2001) do impact the landings. The landings in Wave 2 of 2006 were roughly triple the Wave 2 landings in previous years (2002-2005). Raising the size limit will partly curb the WAVE 2 landings that occur in the seaside. If a January 1 - March 28 closure is adopted (one committee member has told us that closure that was in place from 1999 - 2004 should never have been lifted), this closure only provides a 1.86% savings. Yet, if the 2006 Wave 2 landings of 180,675 fish are reduced by 1/3 via a higher size limit and a closed season, this 60,225 fish not landed in 2007 represents nearly a 13% reduction.

Specific options that achieve a 53.3% reduction, with no VMRC preference

Minimum size Possession Closed seasons
(inches) Limit (dates are all inclusive)
___________________________________________________________________
19 -- 6 -- None

18 ½ - - 2 - - None
18 ½ - - 3 - - 1/1 - 3/22 or 7/10 - 7/11
18 ½ -- 4 - - 1/1-3/31 and 7/10 - 7/13

18 -- 1 -- None
18 -- 2 -- 1/1 - 3/31 and 7/10 - 7/25
18 -- 3 -- 1/1 - 3/31 and 7/10 - 7/30
18 -- 4 -- 1/1 - 3/31 and 7/10 - 7/30 and 9/23 - 12/31

17 ½ -- 1 -- 1/1 - 3/31 and 7/10 - 7/16
17 ½ -- 2 -- 1/1 - 4/10 and 7/10 - 8/8
17 ½ -- 3 -- 1/1 - 4/10 and 7/10 - 8/14
17 ½ -- 3 -- 1/1 - 3/31 and 7/10 - 8/10 and 9/15 - 12/31
17 ½ -- 4 -- 1/1 - 3/31 and 7/10 - 8/13 and 9/15 - 12/31

Again, these reduction scenarios are strictly exploratory, and I will double-check the results, prior to our meeting. If you would like me to investigate other scenarios before Tuesday's meeting, please let me know by phone or e-mail immediately.
 

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Ill throw my $.02 in- its not worth my time and effort to attempt to catch (1) 17-1/2in. flounder- id much rather see the large size limit (19in), allowing me to go after multiple large flounder.

Think about the charter boats that run off of flounder all summer- that would be like the maryland goose regs that were in place (1 goose/day); nobody wanted to pay a guide big money to go shoot one goose; think it would be the same with the charter boat industry;

Also, how many medium flounder (o say 20in) would be tossed back in the middle of July to make room for the doormat? I'm not sure of the mortality of flounder, so that might not be a big issue (I do know Ive gut hooked my fair share).

Plus, how much meat is there really on a 17.5" flounder? From my experience, seems like most fish that legnth are rather skinny, but once they get around 18-19+, they get a little more plump.

My vote would go to the 19" minimum limit, with the 6/person. If we are once again dealing with this fishery, that seemed like it had rebounded nicely, why don't we go ahead and take care of it for good- make it a 19" minimum, and 4/person.

Jay
"KwikRelease"
 
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