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DNREC’s 2018 Delaware Fishing Guide and fishing rulers now available Capt. Monty Hawkins Report NMFS Announces a Public Meeting For Selected Participants of the 2018 Shark Research Fishery NOAA sets black sea bass regs for February 2018 New Voluntary Right Whale Speed Restriction Zone NOAA Fisheries Requests That Fishermen Voluntarily Adopt Shortfin Mako Shark Measures Coastal Recreational Fisheries Forum is scheduled for Friday, April 27, 2018 Assateauge Coastal Trust holding a press event being held about offshore drilling on January 16th Tidal Finfish Advisory Council to meet Jan. 17 in Dover South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Seeks Input on Proposed Changes for Atlantic Cobia Management
Delaware’s recreational summer flounder size limit to increase to 17 inches effective April 1 Possession limit and season dates unchanged
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

DOVER (March 15, 2017) – Effective April 1, Delaware’s recreational minimum size limit for summer flounder will increase to 17 inches. DNREC Secretary David S. Small signed an Emergency Secretary’s Order to increase Delaware’s minimum size limit regulation by one inch to remain compliant with an addendum to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (ASMFC) Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan (FMP). Delaware’s flounder four-fish possession limit and year-round open season remain unchanged.

Recreational harvest reductions also were required in other coastal states. The decision was made after consulting with Delaware’s ASMFC regional neighbors Maryland and Virginia, both of which also have committed to adopting a 17-inch minimum size limit and a four-fish possession limit by April 1.

An emergency regulation was necessary to meet the implementation target date, remain compliant with the FMP and to protect the summer flounder resource from overfishing. In addition, such action will allow sufficient time for Delaware’s fishing community to plan for this important fishery.

Harvest reductions were based on recent stock assessment updates that determined the summer flounder population is experiencing excess harvest that could result in a detrimental population reduction. Although spawning stock biomass is above the target threshold, juvenile production has been below average for the past six years.

Harvest reductions were necessary in the coastwide commercial fishery as well, but these reductions are achieved through quotas and monitoring.

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