Maryland DNR Announces New Regulations
After reviewing last year's numbers, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is easing regulations for summer flounder and tightening them up for tautog.
The changes in regulations are designed to allow for ample recreational opportunity while taking a conservative approach to protecting the populations.
"Because Maryland anglers have remained under the summer flounder target harvest levels for the past two years, we are able to lower the minimum size limit and extend the season lightly to provide anglers more opportunity," said DNR Fisheries Service Director Tom O'Connell. "As with other states along the coast, Maryland's tautog regulations are more restrictive this year."
The new regulations are as follows:
Summer Flounder Regulations
Minimum size limit: 17 inches
Season dates and fish limit per angler per day:
April 14 - December 16, three fish
Minimum size limit: 16-inches
Season dates and fish limit per angler:
April 2- May 15, four fish
May 16 - October 31, two fish
November 1-14, four fish
DNR may extend the Tautog November season if late breaking developments in the Atlantic Coast stock assessment warrant it. However, under current regulations, the season will close from November 15 through December 31, reopening on New Year's Day 2013 with a four fish limit.
"Tautog provide unique fishing experiences on Maryland's shore near reefs and wrecks," said DNR Coastal Fisheries Program Manager Carrie Kennedy. "We are working with our partner states in the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to provide adequate conservation for tautog stocks, while maintaining ample fishing opportunity."
Earlier this year, Charles Donohue of Philadelphia set a Maryland state record with the catch of a 23-pound 'tog' on a charter trip out of Ocean City.
Recreational anglers who register summer flounder and tautog measuring 24 inches or longer at any of the more than 60 Maryland Angler Award Centers across the State will receive free admission and a chance to win prizes at the 2012 Maryland Fishing Challenge Grand Finale. The event will take place at the Maryland Seafood Festival at Sandy Point State Park on September 8. Prizes include excellent tackle packages from Bass Pro shops and Bill's Outdoor Center, a boat/trailer package from Tracker Marine, a vacation trip from World Fishing Network, Under Armour gear and other great prizes.