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For Release: Monday, April 22, 2013

DEC Efforts Pay off for 2013 Summer Flounder Fishing

Season Opens May 1 with Full Season and Lower Size Limit

The recreational fishing season for summer flounder will open May 1 and remain open through Sunday, September 29, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. The flounder size limit is 19 inches and there is a four fish bag limit. Anglers are reminded to register with the Recreational Marine Fishing Registry which is required for fishing in the Marine and Coastal District. No fee is required.

New York was faced with a shorter season or increased size limits for 2013 due to federal landings data for 2012. DEC worked with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission in January to avoid restrictions that would have reduced the length of the season and increased the size limit which DEC determined was unnecessary given the healthy condition of the stock. Several of the east coast states underharvested their quotas in 2012 which allowed them to catch more fish in 2013.

Through a change spearheaded by DEC to the ASMFC Fisheries Management Plan, these states agreed to share some of their unharvested fish with New York and New Jersey in 2013. This change was approved by the ASMFC Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Board recently.

"DEC's Marine Resources staff worked relentlessly through size limit and harvest season changes with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission," DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. "Governor Cuomo launched the NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative to increase opportunities for the state's fishing community. The improvements to fluke fishing is good news for New York anglers and the saltwater fishing industry who have been short changed for many years by an inadequate quota relative to the size of the fishery in New York. These are the same anglers who are struggling to get back on their feet after the impacts of Hurricane Sandy. DEC will work with a subcommittee of key states and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council to find a long-term solution to the inequity New York fishermen have faced for over a decade with fluke management."

Black sea bass fishing season will run from July 10 to December 31 with a 13 inch minimum size and an eight fish bag limit. These limits are better than previously thought since all states were originally required to take a 32 percent reduction in 2013 harvest but an analysis of new data show that only a 24 percent reduction is needed.

Scup (porgy) fishing season will also see an improvement for 2013 with a 10 inch minimum size, 30 fish bag limit and season from May 1 to December 31 for all anglers. Party and charter boats will have a bonus of a 45 fish bag limit from September 1 to October 31.

DEC will shortly file an Emergency Rulemaking to formalize the changes for the 2013 season. Anglers should check DEC's website for the most recent information on New York's fishing limits. For questions on marine fishing, contact DEC's Bureau of Marine Resources at 631-444-0430.

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