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Shore-Based Enhanced Fishing Opportunity Program for Summer Flounder at Island Beach State Park

 

Summer Flounder Season to Start Thursday, May 25 with 18-inch Minimum Size Intact (DEP News Release, 5/24/17)

The Shore Based Enhanced Fishing Opportunity Program (Program) for summer flounder at Island Beach State Park (IBSP) will begin Thursday, May 25, in 2017. Summer flounder is New Jersey's most popular recreational saltwater species.

Anglers participating in the IBSP Program must follow the following regulations:

  • 16-inch minimum size limit
  • 2-fish possession limit
  • Open season May 25 through September 5
The Program will be available to "shore-based" anglers only, defined as fishing from a pier, jetty, beach, bank, or marsh. Anglers participating in this Program may NOT fish from a boat, kayak, canoe, personal water craft, or arrive to the shore by means of water craft.

There will not be a check station for fluke measuring 16 to less than 18 inches. The only requirement is for anglers to retain proof of legal entry to IBSP (park receipt) until returning home or until just prior to consumption if the fish are to be consumed prior to the angler returning home. Those holding Mobile Sportfishing Vehicle Permits are required to request a receipt at the front entrance gate of IBSP.

Anglers that possess summer flounder harvested at IBSP may harvest summer flounder outside IBSP provided they abide to the 18-inch size limit and 3-fish possession limit applicable to all other waters (for example, if 1 fish is harvested at IBSP, 2 fish 18 inches or greater may be harvested in waters outside of IBSP). (Please consult the 2017 Recreational Marine Fishing Regulations Summary Sheet [pdf, 195kb] for current regulations.)

PROGRAM HISTORY

In 2014, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Summer Flounder, Scup & Black Sea Bass Management Board mandated New Jersey to manage its recreational summer flounder fishery in a region with New York and Connecticut. All partners in a region are required to have the same size limit, possession limit and number of days open.

Connecticut had a Shore Based Enhanced fishing Opportunity Program already in place that provided shore based anglers at specific shore only sites a chance to keep summer flounder smaller than the size limit. Being in a region with Connecticut, New Jersey and New York were offered the opportunity to have a similar program.

Island Beach State Park provided a unique location for such a program, since there is only one road to access the park, which made enforcement feasible. It also enabled the Division to gather data from fishermen leaving the park with fish. The ASMFC declined NJ's efforts to expand the program to other sites due to concerns about enforcement.

Shore-based Fishing Opportunity at Island Beach State Park Boasted Unique Regulations Last Year (2014) (from 2015 Marine Digest, pdf, 275kb)

For additional information, anglers can contact the Department's Marine Fisheries Administration at 609-748-2020.

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Last Updated: August 14, 2017