Summer flounder season shortened by a week
By ALAN RAPPEPORT Staff Writer, (609) 272-7219
The Marine Fisheries Council voted Tuesday to shorten summer flounder season by seven days this year to make up for over-fishing last season.
The council was forced to find a way to trim 1.3 percent off the total weight of the flounder caught last summer. Like last year, no flounder smaller than 16.5 inches can be kept, and a person can bring home a maximum of eight at a time, according to Councilman Erling Berg, of Cape May County.
"We shortened it up a bit because we went over last year," Berg said. "They caught more summer flounder than was allocated to New Jersey."
This season will start May 8 and end Oct. 11 - beginning five days later and ending two days earlier than last year.
The abbreviated season comes a year after the council decided to extend the summer flounder season by five weeks after 40 percent under-fishing in 2002. Some were fearful last year that the additional five weeks was too lenient and would have to be accounted for in the future.
"There wasn't a lot to argue about," Berg said after the meeting. "They went over last year so we had to reduce it. The government tells you what you can have, so this is what we did."