DNREC Announces Changes to 2024 Summer Flounder and Scup Recreational Fishing

Press Release … The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today that, effective March 2, the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife will implement changes to the recreational fishing regulations for summer flounder and scup required to keep Delaware in compliance with the Fishery Management Plans of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC).

For summer flounder, the size limit will remain at 16 inches from Jan. 1 through May 31, with the size limit increasing to 17.5 inches from June 1 through Dec. 31. The daily summer flounder possession limit will remain at four throughout the year. For scup, the daily possession limit is reduced from 40 to 30.

In December 2023, the ASMFC and MAFMC jointly approved management measures requiring member states of both panels to reduce summer flounder recreational harvest by 28% and scup recreational harvest by 10% for 2024 and 2025. The measures were called for because recreational harvest was otherwise anticipated to exceed the Recreational Harvest Limit for both species in both years – with the summer flounder stocks well below the target level.

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The new restrictions are intended to achieve the full reductions in 2024, and are to remain unchanged in 2025 unless new information suggests a major change in the expected impacts of those regulations on either the stocks or the fisheries.

All regions in the summer flounder and scup management units in ASMFC and MAFMC member states were required to develop regional regulations that will reduce the recreational harvest. The Delmarva Summer Flounder Region and the Southern Scup Region – to which Delaware belongs – developed the restrictive measures, which were approved for implementation after review by the ASMFC.

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