That Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission winter meeting this month was surely a bummer for summer flounder fans.

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A federal regulatory commission voted Thursday to reduce this year’s summer flounder catch, …

The delegates went through hours of sometimes confusing debate and somehow authorized an unpopular reduction in daily possession limit and an increase in size minimum for a keeper to help achieve a 28 percent to 32 percent cut in in the flounder quota along the Atlantic Coast.

The New Jersey presence was strong at the flounder, sea bass and scup board meeting Tuesday morning at The Westin in Alexandria, Virginia.

Adam Nowalsky headed a three-man delegation that voted in opposition to the measure — Option 5 if anybody is counting — that passed by a 7-3 vote. He also spoke in favor of delaying adoption of any restrictive measures.

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin made a strong statement at the start of the session that put New Jersey in firm opposition to any of the five measures.

Two members of Martin’s staff, including Deputy Commissioner David Glass, accompanied Martin. Russ Allen of the Bureau of Marine Fisheries was in attendance.

After the morning meeting, Martin hopped over to New Jersey U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo’s office in Washington, and they joined forces to fight the unacceptable adopted restrictions. That resulted in a strong statement from LoBiondo in which he vowed to “run this ASMFC decision to the ground.”

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A proposal to drastically reduce this year’s summer flounder catch could get final approval …

New Jersey leaders and citizens were very active in the months-long leadup to Tuesday’s critical vote.

The meeting in Virginia included an overflow crowd that was against any of the options presented at a required public comment forum in January at the Atlantic County Library in Galloway Township.

That solidarity continues to be unwavering.

Robin Scott, whose family has operated Ray Scott’s Dock in Margate through three generations and more than 59 years, was at the meeting and put another statement into the public record.

She left no doubt she and New Jersey residents stand solidly in opposition.

And she made sure to tell them there is no overfishing of summer flounder, which has been an unsupported mantra from the oversight agencies.

While the vote is over, it looks like the fight is not.

We’ll surely have more important information to print and talk about in the coming weeks and months.

A detailed story about the meeting appeared on the front page of The Press on Friday morning.

Fishing news

There is very little to report about actual fishing, and really nothing since last weekend.

Related

A state environmental official has called on the federal government not to tighten restricti…

Paul Thompson had a group of tog fishers from New Jersey and Delaware out with him Sunday aboard his Porgy IV party boat out of South Jersey Marina in Cape May.

They coughed up a few extra coins for incentive, so Paul hauled them offshore for tog.

It seemed like it paid off for the fishers and the captain with a decent pick of fish.

Two of the winter fishing fanatics hauled up tautog that reached double figures. Gene Howard, of Philadelphia, had the top catch of the day with a 13-pound tog, and Dave London, of Cherry Hill, racked up a 12-pound tog.

Thompson said the group is looking for some other like-minded winter tog fishers to join the crew. He was originally thinking about Sunday, but the weather forecast is not looking good.

Paul is sort of idle for the winter. If conditions are right and he has some interested citizens, he will crank up the Porgy IV and head off mainly for tog.

We did get a report about some codfish being caught in the ocean just a little to the north out of Brielle. The Jamaica II also sailed just once recently but had an interesting catch.

They found what was described as “good life” in 100 to 120 feet of water and picked off blackfish aka tog and codfish.

They went a little farther off and got into “giant” silver eels.

One of the fishers who came from Philadelphia had a limit of tog to nine pounds, plus three cod and one pollock.

Another who had a short drive from Lavallette also had a limit of tog to 7½ pounds, three cod, four ling and a dozen silver eels weighing up to 20 pounds.

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Mike Shepherd is the

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