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Fluke won't be coming inshore along the N.J. Shore for several months, but the effort to to save that season is winding into high gear during the 10 a.m. Friday public press conference by DEP Commissioner Bob Martin at Fisherman's Supply, 69 Channel Drive, Point Pleasant Beach. The DEP has adopted status quo for fluke, pending a new baseline stock assessment, as voted on by the Marine Fisheries Council. Yet, they will not be able to maintain that stand unless the ASMFC accepts status quo as an option when they meet next month in Kitty Hawk, N.C. Martin wrote a letter to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commissioner this week in which he noted that the proposed regulations amount to a "a defacto moratorium on summer flounder for the recreational fishing industry in New Jersey" He further states that it "threatens to jeopardize businesses such as bait and tackle shops and party and charter boats that cater to recreational anglers. The recreational fishing industry, which provides more than $1.5 billion economic benefits and directly supports 20,000 jobs in New Jersey, would be devastated." The present options provide a 19-inch minimum during a short season in order to meet required catch reductions which anglers, commercial fishermen, and many scientists consider to be unnecessary. Years of sacrifice have resulted in a restored stock, and concerns about reduction in spawning stock biomass are balanced against the fact that some of the best year classes have come from reduced spawning stocks. Fluke were abundant last year, but it was difficult to catch 18-inch keepers. Almost all fluke that size are females, so recreational pressure is directed toward the best spawners while many smaller fluke are injured in the attempt to catch them. These fast-growing fish mature at around 14 inches -- which is the commercial minimum. It would make more sense to improve spawning results by increasing the commercial minimum and corresponding mesh size, while closing offshore spawning areas during the late fall to winter spawning period. Assembly Republican Leader David Rible of Wall introduced a resolution , AR-26, urging NOAA to adopt status quo for fluke until the new stock assessment is completed. It was adopted by the Assembly unanimously. Rep. Frank Pallone D-NJ) is expected to appear at the Friday rally. He made a an effort to get NOAA Fisheries to adopt fluke status quo with a bipartisen letter from N.J. congressmen (including Sen. Cory Booker) to the director. Unfortunately, that letter was ignored during the last days of the Obama administration. Pallone plans to send that letter to the new administration. The annual Somerset Fly Fishing Show runs from Friday to Sunday at the Garden State Convention Center. Shimano has a big exhibit there with Dick Kondak, Tom Larimar and casting champ Steve Rajeff demonstrating the new Asquith fly rods. The N.Y. Boat Show opens Friday in the Convention Center from 4 to 9 p.m., and continues through Sunday. For seminar information visit www.nyboatshow.com(seminars). The New Jersey Outdoor Alliance holds its annual Wild Game Dinner  on Sunday, Feb. 19 at Black Forest Inn in Stanhope. Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno is the guest of honor. all 800 508-2687 or tickets. The northeaster knocked out fishing for a few days, but strong west winds should provide the opportunity to catch blackfish once again. Bob Matthews, at Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina, notes that sport has varied greatly from day to day. It's well worth trying on days with light to moderate winds and little ground swell. Jim Rice of Wall and Scott Mitchell from Neptune fished for cod recently on a private boat and had a decent bite up to a 30-pounder for Mitchell. The Jamaica from Brielle is sailing to far offshore wrecks every Saturday at 2 a.m. by reservation. Last week's trip produced many porgy limits along with a showing of mackerel, ling, bluefish and pollock. Rich Kizmann of Belmar won the pool with 10-pound pollock and Young Won was second with a 4-pound porgy. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations. Mimi VI from Point Pleasant Beach is sailing open daily at 7 a.m. for blackfish. Call Capt. Ken Namowitz at 732 370-8019. Saturday's Canyon Runner Seminar in Atlantic City is sold out, and tickets will not be available at the door. There will be another one Feb. 25 on Long Island Jay Amberg reports the storm blew a steady 50 mph with gusts to 59  for some time at Sea Girt, and dumped three inches of rain while stripping the beaches of sand. Nick Kolodiy saw platform bases  washed out at Bay Head as the waves washed over the beaches while taking away lots of that expensive sand.

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