Shore-Based Enhanced Fishing Opportunity Program for Summer Flounder at Island Beach State Park Opens Saturday, June 14
On Thursday, June 12, 2014, NJ Department of Environmental Protection (Department) Commissioner Bob Martin signed a Notice of Administrative Change adjusting the size and possession limits for summer flounder (a.k.a “fluke”) for anglers fishing from shore atIsland Beach State Park (IBSP) during the 2014 open season.
The Shore Based Enhanced Fishing Opportunity Program (Program) for summer flounder at IBSP will begin Saturday, June 14, 2014. Summer flounder is New Jersey’s most popular recreational saltwater species. Last year, New Jersey anglers caught an estimated 7.6 million summer flounder and kept 1.2 million of those fish.
Anglers participating in the IBSP Program may retain 2 fish greater than or equal to 16 inches (total length) only at IBSP during the current 2014 New Jersey summer flounder fishing season, which opened on May 23 and remains open until September 27. The Program will be available to “shore-based” anglers only, defined as fishing from a pier, jetty, beach, bank, or marsh. Anglers participating in this Program may NOT fish from a boat, kayak, canoe, personal water craft, or arrive to the shore by means of water craft.
Shore-based angling shall be by hook and line only. Summer flounder greater than or equal to 16 inches but less than 18 inches shall not be removed from IBSP, filleted, consumed or otherwise mutilated until the fish is affixed with a tag at the Department’s check station, located approximately one mile south of the IBSP entrance, which will operate between the hours of 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM only. Anglers must retain the Department’s tag affixed to the fish, and proof of legal entry to IBSP until returning home or until just prior to consumption if the fish are to be consumed prior to the angler returning home.
Anglers that possess summer flounder harvested at IBSP may harvest summer flounder outside IBSP provided they abide to the 18-inch size limit and 5-fish possession limit applicable to all other waters (for example, if 1 fish is harvested at IBSP, 4 fish 18 inches or greater may be harvested in waters outside of IBSP). (Please consult the Marine Digest for regulatory information.)
In addition to monitoring the recreational summer flounder harvest at IBSP, the Department will be collecting data on other important recreational species as well by conducting a creel survey at the numerous beach access sites on IBSP. The interviewers will record number of anglers, number of hours fished, number of fish caught and take measurements of fish kept. This information will be utilized to determine the feasibility of the Program as well as provide important data for coastwide management of the species.
For additional information, anglers can contact the Department’s Marine Fisheries Administration at 609-748-2020.