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Alabama Knows How To Make Changes

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    Posted: 08 May 2019 at 1:14pm

Spotted Sea Trout and Flounder Both Have Increased Minimum Size Limits and Decreasing Bag Limits   Clap Clap

The Alabama Conservation Advisory Board approved recommended changes to flounder and spotted seatrout regulations Saturday, May 4, 2019. Size and creel limits have changed for both species and the changes are pretty significant for area anglers.

It’s information you need to know if you target these popular inshore species. The changes are based on stock assessments that have been going on for the last few years, showing a depletion in speckled trout and especially flounder.

“I think the board was very comfortable with the number of meetings we had, the number of responses we had…about a hundred emails and in support of making some size limit reductions, bag limit reductions and for speckled trout, creating a slot limit,” said Director of AL Marine Resources, Scott Bannon.

Spotted seatrout, commonly known as speckled trout will now have a slot limit. Trout must measure between 15 and 22 inches with a total possession limit of six per person, per day. One fish within the daily limit may be oversize. The minimum size limit for flounder has increased to 14 inches, total length with a daily possession limit of five per person, per day. The commercial possession and bag limit had decreased to 30 per person and per boat, per day.

The new law for recreational anglers will go into effect the first of August. There may still be some adjustments made to the commercial flounder rules, so those won’t go into effect until September. State conservation officials said they will make efforts to educate anglers to the changes before strictly enforcing the laws.

“We’re pretty good about that first implementation period of a regulation change because it is sometimes hard for people to be aware of the changes and we leave the discretion to our officers when they’re out in the field to inform the public,” Bannon explained. “We write a lot of warnings in that first, initial time period.”

Many local anglers have seen the increased pressure on these fish along with a reduction in numbers. Most are in agreement with the changes.

 “Well, lately there’s been a lot more…I’ve caught smaller ones and I’ve seen a lot of bigger ones being caught, but I think some people are catching their limit and some aren’t,” said local fisherman, Robert Vaughn.

“I’m sure they’ll be fine with it because fish have gone down a little bit on inshore, but most of the fish out there…most of the reef fish are doing real good,” said angler, Harold Walters.

Other new regulations affecting offshore anglers include the minimum size limit on cobia and short-fin Mako shark. Cobia is now 36 inches – fork length and increased minimums for male and female, short-fin Mako shark are 71 and 83 inches accordingly.

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