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NOAA Fisheries Announces 2016 Recreational and Commercial Rules for Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass

August 1, 2016

NOAA Fisheries is announcing new recreational regulations for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass for the 2016 fishing year in federal waters. 

Summer Flounder
We are continuing conservation equivalency, which means that anglers in Federal waters must abide by the state regulations for where they will land their catch.

Please see Table 1 in the permit holder bulletin for your state's 2016 recreational management measures.

Scup (no changes from 2015)
Minimum size: 9 inches
Possession limit: 50 fish
Season: Jan 1-Dec 31

Black Sea Bass (no change from 2015)
Minimum size: 12.5 inches
Possession limit: 15 fish
Seasons: May 15-Sep 21, Oct 22-Dec 31

Please note: Anglers should check with the states where they plan to land black sea bass to see if more restrictive measures are in place. If they are, anglers must abide by the more restrictive measures.

We are also announcing two new commerical regulations for scup and summer flounder:

Summer Flounder
We are updating the language in the summer flounder minimum mesh size regulations to specify that the restrictions do not apply to extensions needed to comply with the Turtle Excluder Device regulations.

We are increasing the commercial scup incidental possession limit from 500 lbs to 1,000 lbs for vessels using mesh smaller than 5 inches for the November-April season. This will not affect the recreational fishery. 

Read the final rule as filed in the Federal Register, as well as the recreational and commercial permit holder bulletins.

Questions? Contact Jennifer Goebel, Regional Office, at 978-281-9175 or