The SCDNR has evidence of declines in flounder across the entire state and catches in recent years are at a All-Time-Lows. Dr. Ballenger of SCDNR said. ”This decline doesn’t seem to be confined to one area of the state. We have observed it in all of our major estuaries.”
Low numbers of adult flounder were not the only red flag that appeared in SCDNR’s data. Their surveys also showed a decline in young flounder and a decline in the average size of flounder caught!
The results of the SCDNR’s data suggests the average size of flounder encountered in their surveys has declined by over an inch in the last 10 years or so. This is often a sign of heavy fishing pressure, since anglers are removing the fish as soon as they reach minimum size requirements, with very few bigger fish remaining in the population.
At our February 2020 member meeting a motion was made and approved by all members to release all flounder caught in order to help relieve the pressure of over fishing of the current flounder population.