New rules limiting flounder catch start July 1 in SC

June 26, 2021 GMT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A significant reduction in the number of southern flounder has led South Carolina lawmakers to reduce the number of the fish that can be caught per day.

The new rules go into effect Thursday and limit one person to five flounder per day or a boat to 10 fish per day, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.

The previous limits were twice as many flounder.

The new rules also increase the minimum size to keep a flounder to 16 inches (40 centimeters), up an inch (2.5 centimeters) from the previous rule.

The new limits were needed after studies showed the number of southern flounder in the ocean of the Southeast coast were at historically low levels and the size of the average fish also declined, wildlife officials said.

The same law that changes flounder regulations is also increasing saltwater fishing license fees for the first time in two decades. South Carolina residents will pay $15 a year, up from $10, and some of the extra money will go to a new flounder stocking program, DNR said in a statement.