South Carolina’s proposed new flounder regulations, which will bump the minimum size limit up to 15 inches, got one step closer to becoming law late last month after being approved by the S.C. Senate’s Fish, Game, and Forestry Committee.
The bill, which aside from changing the minimum size limit, will also decrease the daily bag limit to 10 per person (20 per boat), still needs approval from the Senate. Currently, anglers are allowed to keep 15 flounder per person, per day, with a 30 fish boat limit.
Pontius Shuler, who has been fishing in the Murrells Inlet area for flounder for the past 30 years, said he hopes the bill passes. He also said it can only do the flounder population good, and that he would expect anglers to see positive results within a year a two.
“As long as the minimum size limit has been 14, the majority of flounder I’ve caught have been between 14 to 15 inches long. If it bumps up to 15, we’ll have a lot more flounder between 15 and 16 inches in length,” he said.
And according to Charles Farmer, a former marine biologist for the SCDNR and a current representative for CCA South Carolina, that extra inch or so has a much bigger impact than most people realize.
“A 15-inch flounder has a much more productive spawn than a 14-inch flounder. It would have a positive impact on the population over the next 2 to 4 years,” said Farmer.
If enacted into law, Farmer said the regulation will have a twofold benefit.
“In this bill, we think we’ve come up with regulations to protect our flounder population and let the fishermen still enjoy the species,” he said.
Click here to read about wading for flounder in South Carolina’s lowcountry.