Written by Ron Nuzzolo
Sunday, 18 July 2010 16:35
Rules and regulations divide anglers in neighboring states.
bay is shared by NewYork and New Jersey anglers; however they do not
share the same rules of fishery management. In fact regulations on fluke
have New York anglers giving up on a summer flounder season. The New
York side is fed up and throwing its arms up in frustration over the
politics involved in a fishery management rule. New York anglers are
steadily catching hundreds of fish only to release them back to New
Jersey angler?s .New York is currently at a 21 inch 2 fish limit per day
while New Jersey recreational possession limit and minimum size remain
at 6 fish per day and 18 inches. This is a major problem not only for
the management of the species but also for New York businesses owners
that count on a bountiful summer flounder season.
Who?s right? What should the limit
really be? Where are they getting these statistics? Are there many fish
over 21 inches to be caught even at two fish a day? Is it worth going on
a charter for two fish that you may never catch at 21inches?
New York and
New Jersey anglers are fishing the same bay for the same species. The
difference is New York will never bag a keeper limit if the fish needs
to be 21 inches and New Jersey only 18 inches. New York doesn?t have a
chance at a fillet of flounder dinner. Fluke or Summer flounder are
currently managed under an interstate plan that uses out dated
information leaving the NYS DEC to manage the rules as they stand.
Unfortunately the stale data is unfair and critically damaging fluke
stocks in the bay. The NY DEC is currently in federal court fighting for
fairness in this fishery........
is a lot of confusion amongst fishermen, tackle shops, and boat
owners.Â The regulations of NY and are vastly different regarding fluke
raising concerns and more questions. You always need to be in compliance
with the regulations wherever you are. If you are fishing in NJ, even
on a NY registered boat, you need to comply with NJ rules. If you are
returning to NY, you need to be in compliance with NY rules while in NY
waters.Â So, if you are fishing in NJ and catch fish that are legal in
NJ but not in NY, you cannot come back into NY waters with those fish
and be legal. According to NY State DEC if your fishing trip takes place
in NJ, then you need to comply with NJ rules and no NY license is
necessary. For example, if you docked your boat in NJ, even though it's
registered in NY, and fished only in NJ, you could abide by NJ rules.
you picked up your friend at a dock in NJ, fished only in NJ, then
dropped him off back at the dock in NJ, he could take fish in accordance
with NJ rules and would not need a NY license, even if fishing on a NY
registered boat.Â If on that same trip, however, you return to NY by
boat, then you need to be in compliance with NY rules once you cross
into NY waters. If you are confused then you are not alone. My advice is
to always use your home port rules and common sense. If you?re still
having questions or concerns friendly web sites like www.NJSaltwaterfisherman.com
are very helpful and easy to navigate.
The Raritan Bay is alive
and teaming with so many different species of fish. I can only hope that
the Summer Flounder controversy will change the rules for the better in
fishery management for generations to enjoy as I do with 4 generations
still fishing the bay today. The one thing the two states do seem to
share is the same information on weakfish management for 2010.Is it too
late for the weakfish? Will the fluke follow?
Marine Fisheries Commission's The ASMFC's Weakfish Management Board
implemented stock-wide management measures to reduce the recreational
and commercial weakfish possession limit due to a determination that the
Atlantic Coast weakfish stock is currently depleted and at the lowest
population level since estimates have been recorded (1981-2008). The
Board implemented stock-wide management measures to promote stock
rebuilding, which result in a recreational possession limit of one (1)
fish per angler per day. The former New Jersey recreational possession
limit was six fish per angler per day.