12/13/2007 - The federal government forced summer flounder anglers to cut back catches almost 40 percent this year as a way to rebuild stocks.
Anglers complained, and then they apparently went fishing.
Figures show New Jersey recreational fishermen exceeded their quota by about 40 percent. They weren't alone. Recreational fishermen in just about every East Coast state exceeded it.
"They've had these overages for years. Why keep doing the same thing over and over again, because it's not working," said Lee Crockett, of the Pew Charitable Trusts' Fisheries Reform Project.
Anglers have argued for years that recreational harvest data is not accurate. Crockett agreed, and said the federal government needs to fund a better data-collection system and do more fish-tagging studies. Crockett also agrees with Kurkul that more variables have to be plugged in.
"Certainly, there are more fish, but one thing you're not counting is the number of fishermen. That's a variable you're not controlling with these limits," Crockett said.
Read the full article State's Anglers Catch More Than Their Share of Fluke on The Press of Atlantic City Web site.