Despite the relatively short notice of a weekday morning rally at a time of year when many anglers (including me) are on vacation in warmer climes, Paul Haertel of the JCAA counted about 300 on hand to hear DEP Commissioner Bob Martin detail the potential economic disaster that a 19-inch fluke minimum and short season would ensure for Shore party and charter boats plus tackle shops. Martin assured the crowd that the DEP is doing everything possible to retain status quo regulations pending a new baseline stock assessment that many experts feel will show the summer flounder population is in much better shape than outdated estimates suggest.
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. 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.
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