April 1 marks the start of DNR’s Maryland Volunteer Angler Summer Flounder Survey, which offers anglers the opportunity to get involved with Maryland’s summer flounder management.
“The survey is important to summer flounder management along the East Coast, as it provides data that would otherwise not be available to DNR,” said Acting Fisheries Director Harley Speir. “DNR appreciates the volunteer efforts of Maryland’s recreational anglers, as the information helps guide management decisions to ensure a sustainable flounder population.”
Simply by recording information while on fishing trips that target summer flounder, anglers can become active participants in summer flounder management. The survey data is later used to analyze the effects of minimum size limits and creel limits compared to the federal harvest data, and ultimately guide DNR’s establishment of creel, minimum size and season limits for flounder.
The average length of flounder caught in 2007 was 13.1 inches, which has held relatively steady for the past six years. In 2007, a total of 15,427 fish were reported caught on 1,166 trips. The majority of angler activity occurred along the Atlantic coast, with less than 5 percent taking place in the Bay. Approximately 10 percent of trips targeting flounder resulted in no flounder being caught.
For 2008, anglers are encouraged to measure to the nearest ¼ inch, continue to report trips where flounder are targeted but not caught, and promote the survey to fellow anglers, especially in less-fished areas. Anglers are reminded to fill out the survey in full, providing data about the date, location, and number of anglers in the party, method used and the total number of flounder kept, as well as the total number released.
To learn more or to participate in the survey visit http://www.dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/survey/sfsurveyintro.html. Information and survey packets are also available by mail, through contacting Allison Luettel at 410-260-8343 or firstname.lastname@example.org.