New Jersey Fluke And Porgy Regulations Change For ’24 & ‘25 - The Fisherman

New Jersey Fluke And Porgy Regulations Change For ’24 & ‘25

New Jersey’s recreational summer flounder season will run from May 4 through September 25 with a three fish bag and 18-inch minimum size limit.

A standing room only crowd of over 100 members of the public packed the meeting room of the Galloway Township Branch of the Atlantic County Library on Jimmie Leeds Road on March 7, with another 140 people logged in on the active webinar, all waiting for a chance to chime in on the fluke options before the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council (Council) had a chance to take up the final vote.

“We’re going to get to the main event right away,” said Council chairman Dick Herb of Cape May soon after the meeting kicked off a little after 5 p.m., noting that he was revising the meeting agenda to push the fluke option discussion and vote up to the front of the meeting.

Council member Pat Donnelly from Ocean County opened the debate by reading the unanimous decision of the Council’s summer flounder advisory committee in favor of option number 32, the three at 18-inch size limit.  “The options that were developed did not come easily, and several hours of deliberation took place over the course of two meetings,” Donnelly said, adding “many advisors felt the slot limits implemented in 2022 and 2023 posed a more restrictive regulation for anglers than the current preferred option of number 32, and view this particular option as a liberalization for 2024.”

fluke-porgy
It was standing room only before the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council meeting even got underway on March 7.

Approximately two weeks prior to the Council meeting, the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife sent an email to its listserv email database of anglers presenting all six options for review; a chart presented at the March 7 meeting of Council showed that of the 630 total respondents, 433 or 68.7%, favored option 32, with 92 anglers or 14.6% selecting option 57 (May 16 to September 23 season, three at 18 inches by boat and two fish at 17 inches from shore).

Starting at 5:38 p.m. members of the public in the Galloway meeting room were invited to the podium to offer their opinion of an option preference, before the “virtual flood gates” were opened at 5:53 p.m. to allow webinar attendees to weigh-in.  Just before the Council took up its final vote, option 32 had a 40-3 lead in favorability over option 57. None of the other four options under review curried any favor from the public.

At approximately 6:20 p.m. on March 7, the Council voted 7-1 in favor of the three fluke bag and 18-inch size limit and 145-day length of season.  The Council also noted that New Jersey’s special management zone regulations for summer flounder would remain in effect, that being a 17-inch minimum and three fish bag west of COLREGS on Delaware Bay, and a 16-inch minimum size and two per angler limit at Island Beach State Park.

Also included in the regulatory change for summer flounder was a new recreational porgy season, with a 10-inch minimum size and 30 fish bag limit, with an open season from January 1 to June 30, and from September 1 to December 31.  Once officially signed by the Department of Environmental Protection’s commissioner, Shawn LaTourette, both the fluke and porgy regulations will be in effect for two years during both the 2024 and 2025 seasons.  Black sea bass regulations remain the same (12.5-inch minimum size, open 5/17-6/19 with a 10 fish bag, 7/1-8/31 with a one fish bag, 10/1-10/31 with a 10 fish bag, and 11/1-12/31 with a 15 fish bag).

The next meeting of the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council is scheduled for May 9 at 5 p.m. at the Galloway Township Branch of the Atlantic County Library.  It is expected that there will be plenty of available seating.

Don’t forget, saltwater anglers in New Jersey must register to fish every year; it’s required by law, but it’s also free!  Go to saltwaterregistry.nj.gov and click the Register button on the right hand side of the homepage.

Related

news

Jimmy Johnson’s Quest For The Ring In Atlantic City

news

North Jersey Fluke Tournament Weekend

news

South Jersey Doormat Derby On July 13