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For Release: Monday, May 2, 2011

DEC Announces Changes to Recreational Fishing Regulations for Summer Flounder (Fluke) for 2011

Amendment Adopted to Comply with Fishery Management Plan Requirements

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced the new 2011 recreational fishing regulations for summer flounder (fluke). The new regulations, which are effective immediately, specify a 3-fish possession limit, 20.5-inch minimum size and an open season of May 1 through September 30.

These new limits replace the 2010 regulations which included a 2-fish possession limit, a 21-inch minimum size and an open season from May 15 through September 6.

New York State participates in the cooperative management of migratory marine fisheries as a member of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). ASMFC adopts Interstate Fisheries Management Plans (FMP's) for the prudent management and conservation of quota managed species along the Atlantic Coast. Each member state of ASMFC must implement the provisions of the FMPs for the quota managed species within its state waters. As required by the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act (ACFCMA), ASMFC determines if states have implemented provisions of FMP's in a timely manner. If ASMFC determines a state to be in non-compliance with an FMP for a specific species, the Commission notifies the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. If the Secretary concurs in the non-compliance determination, the Secretary promulgates and enforces a complete prohibition on all fishing for the species in the waters of the non-compliant state until the state complies with the FMP.

The current stock assessment for summer flounder (fluke) shows that the population is nearly rebuilt, not overfished and not subject to overfishing. Recent changes to the fluke FMP allow states to liberalize their harvest of fluke in order to achieve optimum use of the fishery resource. New York State has chosen to adopt new regulations that meet the requirements of the FMP while providing greater fishing opportunities for fluke this year.

The text of the new regulation will be published in the State Register on May 18, 2011 and will be available on the DEC website. DEC will be accepting public comments on the new fluke regulation through July 5, 2011.

Recreational marine fishing regulations can be viewed on the DEC website. For additional information, contact DEC Marine Resources Division at 631-444-0435.

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