December 20th, 2016 — Few things are causing more ire among recreational fishermen than the summer flounder cuts.
Some party boat captains have called it “nail in the coffin” measures that are being taken by fishery management that starts from the top down with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“It seems that every time we make a sacrifice there ends up being less boats on the water. It seems like they want us off the water,” said Gambler party boat owner and captain Bob Bogan.
Bogan’s summer flounder business depends on tourists. He said they will be less likely to pay a fare if they can keep very little or none of the fish they catch.
Also of concern to him are the party boat customers who come out to fish for table food. They are being shut out, he said.
“People will spend $50 if they can catch $25 or $50 worth of fish. They’re not going to pay to come home with nothing,” he said.
What New Jersey’s recreational season length, bag and size limit will be is still to be decided. But it’s looking like it will be amount to less fish in the cooler for anglers, and fewer trips on the water.
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council is recommending a 3.77 million pound recreational harvest limit for 2017. That’s down from 5.42 million in 2016.
The council said states or multi-state regions will have to develop customized measures that will achieve the coastwide recreational harvest limit. New Jersey has in the past got the largest share of that harvest limit.