TRENTON, NJ (CBS) — New Jersey has won the flounder fight, at least for this summer, as the feds sided with state officials in a dispute over how many fish can be caught in ocean and bay waters, and how long they have to be to be harvested.
At first, the feds wanted more restricted limits off New Jersey, while nearby states like Delaware were easier.
Enter the Garden State Congressional delegation, which convinced higher ups in DC that just wouldn’t float, so to speak.
“The regulations that we put in place of 18 inches for summer flounder will remain in place for the season,” David Glass, Deputy Commissioner at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, told KYW Newsradio.
The feds originally wanted 19, compared to 17 down in Delaware.
Considering New Jersey settled on 18 inches, one might wonder why such a fuss was made over a single inch.
“What it means in a practical sense is, if you’re out there all day fishing, you’d have to catch about 20 summer flounder just to be able to keep one at 19 inches verses our regulations, which are in place at 18 inches,” Glass added. “You have a greater frequency of getting a keeper.”
A bag limit of three fish a day remains in effect. Length limits are slightly lower in Delaware Bay and off Island Beach State Park.
At the same time, there’s a new program encouraging anglers to be more careful in releasing fish that aren’t keepers so they can live long enough, to get long enough.
Information on the program is available on line at http://www.savefluke.nj.gov .