FWC approves draft changes to flounder regulations
At its July meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved draft changes to the management of Florida’s flounder fishery. The changes will be brought back to the commission in October for final consideration.
A stock status update suggests that the flounder fishery statewide has been in a general declining trend in recent years and is likely overfished and undergoing overfishing on the Atlantic coast. Other states have also reported declines in flounder populations and have been making their own regulation changes.
The FWC has been working with stakeholders to gather input on the fishery through workshops, online commenting and more. Draft rule changes include:
– Increase minimum size limit from 12 inches to 14 inches total length (recreational and commercial).
– Reduce recreational bag limit from 10 to five fish per person.
– Establish a November closure (recreational).
– Establish a commercial trip and vessel limit of 150 flounder when using allowable gear for all months outside of November.
– Establish a November commercial trip and vessel limit of 50 pounds when using allowable gear.
– Extend all FWC flounder regulations into federal waters.
The commission also directed staff to continue working with the industry on flounder bycatch in federal waters.
To share input on the draft proposal or to see more about what items the FWC Division of Marine Fisheries Management is working on, visit MyFWC.com/SaltwaterComments.
Learn more about flounder regulations at MyFWC.com/Marine.