DNR Encourages Anglers To Take Part In Summer Flounder Survey

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Annual Survey Runs Until October, Provides Valuable Management Data

Maryland Volunteer Anglers Summer Flounder SurveyANNAPOLIS, MD – With the summer fishing season underway, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources encourages anglers to participate in the Maryland Volunteer Angler Summer Flounder Survey to provide input to the management of one of the state’s valuable commercial and recreational fisheries. DNR uses the survey to establish minimum size and creel limits for the season.

“Angler participation in this program is integral to the establishment of recreational limits for summer flounder,” said Mike Luisi, DNR biologist. “Collecting data on these fish before they are returned to the water allows us to better understand the size distribution of flounder residing in Maryland waters.”

The data will help guide the DNR’s management approach for both the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Coast populations. In addition, it will be used to augment and enhance existing data from the National Marine Fisheries Services’ Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey.

The average length of flounder caught has held relatively steady for the past six years, and in 2007 was 13.1 inches. In 2007 anglers reported 15,427 fish caught during 1,166 trips. Most angler activity occurred along the Atlantic coast, with less than 5 percent taking place in the Chesapeake Bay.

Anglers are asked to measure to the nearest ¼ inch and to include trips where summer flounder were targeted but not caught. DNR hopes to improve reporting this year from anglers targeting summer flounder in the Chesapeake Bay.

The survey runs from April to October of each year. To learn more or to participate in the survey online, visit http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/survey/sfsurveyintro.html. Information and survey packets are also available by mail, through contacting Allison Luettel at 410-260-8343 or aluettel [at] dnr [dot] state [dot] md [dot] us.

Flounder seekers are also encouraged to enter their catch in the 2008 Maryland Fishing Challenge this summer. Any angler who catches a citation award qualifying fish will be eligible to win one of the several grand prizes including, including a 2008 Toyota Tundra 4×4 pickup truck from Central Atlantic Toyota, a boat and trailer from Bass Pro Shops and $5,000 in fishing gear from Bill’s Outdoor Center. More than 60 species of fish are eligible for the grand prizes in the summer-long contest that runs through Sept. 1.