The New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council decided Wednesday to go along with a flounder proposal put forth by state leaders at a federal regulator meeting last week.
The proposal allows a catch of no more than three fish at 18 inches or more for recreational fishermen. Under the potential regulation, flounder season would begin May 25 and continue for 104 days to Sept 6.
“It’s the best deal for fishermen,” said acting council Chairman Dick Herb.
“The alternative would have no season at all, both for recreation and commercial,” he said.
Earlier this year, the state council voted to go out of compliance with federal measures.
In February, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission approved reductions which would limit New Jersey recreational fishermen to three fish at 19 inches in the ocean and three at 18 inches in the Delaware Bay.
Last year, anglers in the state were allowed to keep five fish at 18 inches in the ocean and four fish at 17 inches in the bay.
The decision to cut the flounder catch was based on federal fishery studies that indicate the fluke population is declining and has been experiencing overfishing since 2008.
The ASMFC's Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Management Board will meet via conference call Monday afternoon to review the proposal.