Slot Limit Part of New Fluke/Summer Flounder Regulations

If you haven’t yet unwrapped your boat, better move quick – New Jersey’s fluke season opens up on May 2.

At an April 7th virtual hearing of the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council (Council), the 2022 summer flounder, black sea bass and porgy regulations were finally set.  On the fluke front, out of four potential options approved by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and moved forward by the Council’s advisory committee which met during the final week of March, the Council voted to make New Jersey the first state along the Atlantic Coast to ever have a “slot” option on fluke.

After a series of procedural votes – and continuing technological glitches – the council voted to implement a May 2 to September 27 fluke season with a two-fish slot possession limit from 17 to 17.99 inches, with one fish at 18 inches or greater.

The so-called “Option 2” was not the preferred option of the Council’s advisors (three fluke at 17-1/2 inches with a May 21 to September 23 season), but during the public comment portion the unique slot option was favored by members of the public by a nearly 2-1 ratio.  The final approval of the slot option came by way of a 6-2 vote by the Council.

There was plenty of discussion amongst members of the public in support of a slot fish; option two in particular would allow pressure to be taken off larger, breeding-sized fluke while also extending the season.  “Biologically speaking, it’s a good concept,” said Peter Clarke with the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife (Division) of the slot option for fluke.

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