As part of a new regional management approach for summer flounder (fluke) approved by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) in February, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has adopted emergency regulations to significantly enhance opportunities for New York anglers to catch and keep fluke from coastal waters.
The 2014 fluke season is now set to open on May 17th with a five fish bag and 18-inch size limit. This year's fluke season is open for 128 days, coming to a close at the end of the day on September 21st. NYDEC has updated their Saltwater Fishing Regulations page as a reminder to marine anglers.
The Fisherman Magazine's Fred Golofaro said the new season, size and bag is great news for New York anglers, adding "based on what I'm hearing from readers and other anglers, the 18-inch size limit and generous bag should significantly increase participation in the fluke fishery."
New York saltwater anglers are also reminded that it's a law that all anglers must be registered to fish upon New York's marine and coastal district waters, which includes all of Long Island Sound, all bays and estuaries leading to and including the Atlantic Ocean, and upriver to the Tappen Zee Bridge on the Hudson River. Registration is valid for one full year (365 days) from the date you register, and any and all anglers (from any state) who plan to fish in New York marine waters in 2014 must register.
Before your lines are in, visit the NYDEC Recreational Marine Fishing Registration page!
Information from New York's marine registry is incorporated into a NOAA Fisheries database of recreational marine anglers, which someday in the near to distant future will be used as a method to contact actual saltwater fishermen for data collection purposes. While this registration database is still only being used for 'pilot' purposes in 2014, the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) and New York Sportfishing Federation are hopeful that one day this information will be of importance to NOAA Fisheries.
If you are contacted this year by NOAA Fisheries regarding your time and effort on the water, make sure you reply as promptly and concisely as possible, as this data will someday be used to more effectively tabulate actual recreational harvest within New York's marine and coastal district waters.
If you have questions as to whether or not you qualify for a saltwater angler registration, RFA and the New York Sportfishing Federation warn that you're better safe than sorry, as fines could be issued by the state of New York if you're fishing illegally without a permit.
The 2014 striped bass season is underway in New York waters - and on May 17th, it will be time to enjoy the fairest fluke fishing regulations we've had in years. Don't get caught without your free angler registration - visit www.dec.ny.gov/permits/54950.html today.
For any questions or concerns, refer back to the New York Sportfishing Federation website at www.nysf.org . As changes or updates occur, we'll do our best to update the homepage!