From the June 2010 issue
New Changes to Fluke, Scup and Black Sea Bass Seasons
DEC recently announced the 2010 recreational fishing seasons and catch limits for the popular marine species fluke, scup and black sea bass.
Black Sea Bass
For 2010, DEC has set the season for May 22 to September 12, a reduction from 2009 when the season was open the entire year. The change is necessary to comply with interstate and federal management measures to assist in rebuilding the black sea bass population. The minimum size limit remains at 12.5 inches and the possession limit remains 25 fish per day.
For recreational anglers aboard licensed party or charter vessels, scup fishing will run from June 8 to September 6, with a minimum size limit of 11 inches and a possession limit of 10 fish per day. The "bonus" scup season for recreational anglers aboard licensed party or charter vessels will run from September 7 through October 11, with a size limit of 11 inches and a new daily possession limit of 40 fish.
The regular recreational season for scup is the same as last year-May 24 through September 26. The size limit is 10.5 inches and the possession limit is 10 fish per day.
Proposed limits for fluke, also known as summer flounder, have now been finalized. The 2010 fluke season is a return to a longer, more traditional recreational season, running from May 15 through September 6. The minimum size limit remains 21 inches and the possession limit remains two fish per day.
The 2010 fluke season will run from May 15 to September 6; minimum size and possession limits have not changed
"DEC works closely with the recreational fishing community to establish seasons and catch limits that protect and rebuild fluke, scup and black sea bass populations while providing as many fishing opportunities as possible," DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis said. "The 2010 limits strike that balance. Meanwhile, DEC will continue to pursue necessary changes to the federal fishing quota system to ensure that New York's anglers are not placed at a disadvantage by unfair requirements."
As a member state of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council (MAFMC), New York is required to develop recreational fishing limits that will prevent New York State anglers from exceeding the state's assigned fluke quota. DEC convened meetings with the Marine Resources Advisory Council-made up of representatives of the recreational fishing community-to develop options that encompass the most popular fluke fishing periods on both the north and south shores of Long Island. Commissioner Grannis said the 2010 schedule would maintain a viable fluke fishery for all anglers, while ensuring that New York meets the federal requirements.
Last year, New York did not exceed its fluke quota for the first time in six years. That fact, combined with a federal decision to increase the overall East Coast fluke quota, means that New York anglers will enjoy a significantly higher quota for 2010: 449,000 fluke, an increase of 23 percent over 2009.
Comment on Making Changes Permanent
DEC adopted these changes to recreational seasons for fluke, scup and black sea bass as emergency regulations and they are currently in effect. However, DEC is also proposing to adopt the emergency rules as permanent. Public comments on the proposed permanent rulemaking may be submitted by July 10, 2010 to email@example.com; type "2010 Fluke" in the subject line. Comments can also be sent to Stephen W. Heins, NYSDEC Marine Resources, 205 Belle Mead Road, Suite 1, East Setauket, NY 11733.
Marine Fishing License
DEC also reminds New York anglers that a recreational marine fishing license is now required for those 16 years of age and older when fishing in the waters and along the shores of the marine and coastal district and when fishing for "migratory fish of the sea" species in the waters and along the shores of the Hudson River, Delaware River, or Mohawk River and their tributaries (exemptions can be found on the Recreational Marine License FAQs page of DEC's website). See the complete press release on recreational marine fishing licenses for more information. Also see Related Links below for links to other organizations mentioned here.