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Old 02-13-2019, 11:46 AM
Billfish715 Billfish715 is offline
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Default Southern Flounder

This is an unlikely option to our summer flounder situation but it's an interesting concept. If you are ever in the Galveston, Texas area and are looking for a diversion, try going to the Sea Center at Lake Jackson and see the flounder hatchery process. It is quite enlightening. The breeding and hatching are done under very controlled conditions which include the amount of light and salinity that affect the reproductive cycle. The largest fish in each of the tanks are females which are surrounded by many attentive smaller males. It's a very informative tour of a hatchery that is also producing redfish and sea trout to replenish the Texas estuaries.

Can it happen here? I doubt it, but it is happening in other places.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TV5Usc5BhWk
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:55 AM
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Detour66 Detour66 is offline
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Default Re: Southern Flounder

At $25 a pound for fresh Fluke it might be worth a commercial venture.
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Old 02-13-2019, 12:33 PM
dakota560 dakota560 is offline
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Default Re: Southern Flounder

Bill interesting video and great concept. Years ago as a kid in the spring and summer back in Shark River, I'd look along the boat docks which is basically Fisherman's Den today for all kinds of stuff. Crabs, spearing, sea horses, mussels, killies, snappers, fluke, flounder etc. It was full of life. What I remember most is the bottom moving seeming to move! There were so many juvenile flounder on the bottom like the ones in the video it was unreal. Don't know if they were fluke or flounder, but they were one to two inches long and the quantity was incredible. Don't see that anymore which I'm sure coincides with the crash of the flounder and fluke fishery.

A study needs to be done to see what's changed because as I posted a month or so ago, we either have a problem at sea or a problem in the back bay, rivers and estuaries or somewhere in between. Either egg production has collapsed due to size regulations and impacts of commercial harvest during the spawn or it hasn't. Maybe the build up of dog fish is killing a much higher percentage of juvenile summer flounder before they make it inshore or some other form of predator problem. Maybe once in shore Cormorants are destroying the young of the year. Maybe environmental issue are contributing, water salinity, climate change etc. It's the root cause of the problems facing the fishery and we need to figure it out and once understood address it with changed management techniques.

Doesn't sound like it's hard to do with the resources the state and federal governments have as well as private funding from businesses dependent on this fishery but simply talking about size, possession limits, reduced catch quotas and season lengths every year is not addressing the problem one bit. Look at the Striped Bass chart from Fisherman Magazine I posted yesterday under the Fluke Regulations thread developed with data from ASMFC, it's exactly the same trend as summer flounder where the biomass is decreasing due to significant reductions in egg production relative to a sizably larger spawning stock biomass. Interesting in both fisheries, they're being managed with regulations promoting retention of the larger female egg producers, the future of any fishery. Question is the same for both fisheries, figure out what's happening with recruitment dropping, implement measures to correct it and the health of the fishery and people / businesses dependent on it will all improve exponentially. Stick with the management philosophies that landed us here and both fisheries will continue failing.
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Old 02-13-2019, 03:50 PM
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AndyS AndyS is offline
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Lightbulb Re: Southern Flounder

The great thing about hatcheries is genetics. They take any sperm and add it to any egg. It got so bad the hatchery produced salmon are so weak they can't even swim upstream to spawn. In nature the strong mate with the strong.
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:16 PM
Billfish715 Billfish715 is offline
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Default Re: Southern Flounder

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyS View Post
The great thing about hatcheries is genetics. They take any sperm and add it to any egg. It got so bad the hatchery produced salmon are so weak they can't even swim upstream to spawn. In nature the strong mate with the strong.
Andy, The hatchery production of southern flounder has been going on for at least ten years. Over the years, the biologists have taken genetics into consideration. The fry are released when they are only a few inches long but before they are set free, the weak or deformed are culled leaving only the stronger fish to be stocked. They also release the flounder when they are fry so they can adapt and grow. To Dakota's point, the fluke have to first be hatched and then be able to move inshore to grow. Those fry need healthy estuaries and fewer predators while they grow big enough to head offshore. Maybe some studies need to be done to examine what other factors affect the fluke population besides harvest numbers.

One last point, speaking of predators, I've been told by a few biologists that the seal population which has exploded in Sandy Hook Bay during the winter has been targeting flounder. Once the bunker and herring appear in the bay, the seals turn toward that oil and protein rich forage. How many flounder are eaten during the winter is only conjecture but the seals are phenomenal predators and they have to eat. Just something to think about.
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:03 PM
Ice Cream Bill Ice Cream Bill is offline
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Default Re: Southern Flounder

Billfish715:

Great video of the team helping the southern flounder population down in TX.
Thanks for sharing!

The real Bill Fish (thatís my name) but screen name was already taken when I joined NJ Fishing.
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Old 02-14-2019, 11:02 AM
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CadiShackFishing CadiShackFishing is offline
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Default Re: Southern Flounder

Interesting read, did a little looking and Texas has a saltwater fishing requirement as follows.

Texas saltwater fishing license prices vary, depending on whether you would like to obtain a saltwater lifetime package or are a resident of the state, among other factors. For a saltwater license package, the fee is $63.

I can see NJ at some point requiring us to have to pay for the privilege of saltwater fishing.

If it went to a worthy cause like in Texas I could almost go with it.
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Old 02-14-2019, 11:52 AM
Billfish715 Billfish715 is offline
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Default Re: Southern Flounder

Be careful about suggesting a saltwater license. The new governor is looking for any way he can to squeeze money out of our paychecks. Now he wants us to pay for rain. What's next? Regardless of what money the government collects, it is highly unlikely that any of it will go toward helping with marine or fish and game issues. Texas has it going on but a larger portion of their citizens are involved in fishing and hunting than are the people around here so there is more support for the fish and wildlife programs in Texas.
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