Last night was the ASMFC public comment period for the flounder reductions. You have until Thursday by 5 PM to get your comments to the ASMFC. You can email your comments to email@example.com Without going into a huge amount of detail there are five options. You can see the options at this link, DRAFT ADDENDUM XXVIII TO THE SUMMER FLOUNDER, SCUP, BLACK SEA BASS FISHERY MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR PUBLIC COMMENT. The options I want to see are never listed, we’ll get to that in a minute. These new options range from doing nothing and leaving the limits where they are up to killing as many fish as possible and still reach the required thirty percent reduction. In other words it is pushing the limits to allow you to keep as many fish as possible and still be in compliance for the reduction. Because no one wants to be told they can’t keep as many fish as possible, regardless of the fact the stocks are in serious trouble. The new options are going to be put in place for a year to two years, that is another option to choose, how long you want these new limits in effect. Leaving us at the current creel limits will keep us in compliance but doesn’t help increase the fishery at all. In other words it is zero reduction in catch limits or promoting a zero increase in fish stocks.
I would like to see a creel of only two fish and a season that protects the flounder during the spawn. We need that to happen for a few years too, not just a year or two. That idea as usual was very unpopular, because why should we protect a resource for the future, when we can just keep killing it now and hope it comes back on its own later. We as anglers have a responsibility to protect the fish stocks for future generations. When a fish stock gets dangerously low, for some reason we still want to kill as many as possible, in some cases it seems like we want to kill more. The I need to get mine the hell with everyone else attitude starts to emerge. “Don’t take my fish I need to make money, regulate the other guy” … “Blame the netters it is all their fault, I only keep my limit every time I go fishing, I’m not hurting anything.” … “Why should I have to keep less fish, these tourists are killing them all, they need to leave” and my favorite … “Maybe we shouldn’t allow the tourists to fish”
Read the ASMFC proposals and decide for yourself, get your comments in by Thursday (tomorrow) at 5 PM.