Last week, there was good news passed on about our red snapper stocks in the Gulf of Mexico, which created much optimism that a liberalization in the regulations might be in order.
While red snapper anglers got some good news, the same is not true for flounder anglers.
The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department is closing flounder fishing from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15. A notice was published this week on the department’s website that read:
“During the statewide fishing regulation process in 2020, the Commission approved an annual Nov. 1 – Dec. 15 closure of the flounder fishery but delayed the implementation of this regulation until 2021. That closure will now take effect Nov. 1 and includes both the commercial and recreational sectors.”
This news likely will not sit well with anglers who like to fish the big flounder run each year.
For a number of years now during those same dates, a special regulation took effect that reduced the bag limit to two fish per day from five and prohibited flounder gigging.
Outside of the time frame mentioned, there are no changes to the size and bag limits for flounder.
For the past couple of years, it seemed that our stocks of flounder had greatly improved based on the catches reported. That led many anglers to feel that no additional regulations were needed.
The only change in flounder regulations for a number of years came this year when the minimum size was increased to 15 inches.
For several years now, we have had a progressively later start to the annual flounder run because of warm weather lasting well into the fall.
This year, it appeared the run just kept on going, with nice sized flounder being caught along the Galveston Ship Channel well into January. Normally by mid December, the flounder run is about over.