The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 26 in the DNREC Auditorium, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, on proposed amendments to the state’s Tidal Finfish Regulations concerning summer flounder and black sea bass.


The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 26 in the DNREC Auditorium, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, on proposed amendments to the state’s Tidal Finfish Regulations concerning summer flounder and black sea bass.

In concert with federal and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission requirements, Delaware is required to cap its 2009 summer flounder harvest at 65,000 fish, an adjustment from last year’s 64,000. The latest stock assessment indicates that overfishing is not occurring, although the stock is not yet rebuilt. Three management options designed to restrict Delaware’s 2009 summer flounder harvest will be presented at the meeting, including potential minimum size limits ranging from 18.5 inches to 19.5 inches with a four fish creel limit, and no closed season. The option with the smallest size limit is the most risky in terms of Delaware exceeding its 2009 harvest quota; the largest minimum size limit is least risky.

The minimum size requirement for recreationally harvested black sea bass under Delaware’s Tidal Finfish Regulations needs to be adjusted due to a change in regional size requirements. For the 2009 fishing season, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has mandated a coast-wide minimum size of 12.5 inches under its Fishery Management Plan for Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass. Delaware regulations currently mandate a minimum size of 12 inches.

Beginning March 4, 2009, individuals may present their comments in writing or request additional information by contacting the Fisheries Section, Division of Fish and Wildlife, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, 739-9914. The record will remain open for written or e-mail comments until 4:30 p.m., Friday, April 3, 2009.

All public comment received during this time period will become part of the public hearing record and help guide DNREC’s decision making process pertaining to final regulations for the 2009 fishing season. Individuals may address questions to Roy Miller, Fisheries Administrator, at 739-9914, or Richard Cole at 739-4782. E-mail comments for the hearing record may be sent to Lisa Vest, DNREC Hearing Officer, at lisa.vest@state.de.us.