MFC offers clarification on 2022 flounder season


Reports circulated last week about North Carolina’s 2022 flounder season and limits, but the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission states those reports were premature. As of March 1, 2022, no flounder season dates or limits have been announced. A final vote is set to take place in May.

The following in the latest news release from MFC:

The 2022 flounder season has not yet been announced and could be impacted by Draft Amendment 3 to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan.

The Marine Fisheries’ Commission voted on management options in the draft flounder amendment at its February meeting. The draft amendment is still under review and will come back for final approval by the commission at its May 2022 meeting.

Currently, the draft flounder amendment includes the following management measures impacting the recreational fishery:

  • A one-fish per person per day recreational flounder bag limit.
  • An Aug. 16 to Sept 30 recreational flounder season window (may be shortened depending on available quota).
  • A March 1 to April 15 recreational Gulf and summer flounder season for hook-and-line in the ocean (possibly beginning in 2023).
  •  Prohibited harvest of flounder with a Recreational Commercial Gear License.
  • An adaptive management framework with accountability measures to implement paybacks if allowable landings are exceeded.
  • Gradually equalizing southern flounder quota allocations from the current 70% commercial/30% recreational to 60% commercial and 40% recreational 2025, and to 50% commercial and 50% recreational 2026.

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