JAN 20,2012 —FLUKE recoveries continued

In this segment I will  finalize my interesting Summer flounder (fluke) tag recoveries

8/05 Ludlam Bay 14″- re-caught 7/07 Indian River,De 18″  4/08  Ludlam Bay 15″  —re-caught 8/08 Townsend Inlet 17″ and confiscated by C/O as undersize— 6/08 Strathmere 17″  –re-caught Long Beach,NY   6/09  21 1/2“—7/08 Strathmere 13”  re-caught  8/09 Staten Is,NY 15 1/4” —–6/08 ICW Strathmere 12″ –re-caught 8/09 Moriches Inlet,NY 16″ –9/09 Corson sound 14″-re-caught 3/10 Spencer Canyon 50 fathoms 15 1/2″—8/09 Corson sound 14″  re-caught  3/10 Spencer Canyon 15″— 8/09 Corson sound 16″  re-caught 46 fathoms 65 miles off NC  17″    5/09 Ludlam Bay 19″   re-caught   3/10 Hudson Canyon  21″   7/08 Ludlam Bay 12″  re-caught  3/10 Hudson Canyon  15″, 6/08 ICW Ocean City 14″  re-caught  6/10 Merrick Bay NY  19 1/2″    8/08 Corson sound 14″  re-caught  6/10  181/4″ Great South Bay ,NY     6/07 Strathmere 14″  re-caught  8/10  2miles south of Verrazano Bridge ,NY 18″     5/09  Whale cr Strathmere 19″   re-caught 2/11  62 miles east Cape May NJ 39 fathoms 21″   6/09 Strathmere 16″         re-caught  2/11 Baltimore Canyon  17″   5/10 Ludlam Bay 15″  –re-caught 2/11 Baltimore Canyon 16″  — 9/08 Corson sound 15″   re-caught 6/11 Freeport NY  18 1/2″

As I began digging into the statistics involving all catches it appears that fluke migrating north are growing slightly faster than those migrating south. I totaled  up all recaptures found north of original capture including those re-caught in NJ but  at least 20 miles north   of original tagging and compared to fluke recaptured that had migrated south before being recaught and found the average growth was .65″ more per year in those migrating north. Not sure what this means but it was interesting to note. The data also  indicates the winter commerical fishing should be  limited in winter months to assure fluke get at least on spawn but I doubt if Feds will listen to this.  Fluke decline BEGAN when commerical  interest found  them on continental shelf in winter . In any event my personal feeling is due to 99% of fluke over 18″ being females there should be a lowering of size  for recreational anglers to allow for more taking of males and give larger females more opportunities to spawn. 18″ and larger females will produce 2-3 times the eggs of a first time spawn of a 14-15″ fluke

TOTAL  RECOVERIES BY STATE   NJ-569   NY  42  MA 2  VA 3  MD  3   RI 3   NC 15  CT 2  DE 5                                                        TOTAL TO DATE RECOVERED–  644

I will report on some other species in later reports