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DNR Releases 2012 Recreational Summer Flounder And Tautog Regulations

Young angler with a good sized flounder

Maryland anglers gear up for spring fishing

Annapolis, Md. (April 18, 2012) – After reviewing last year’s numbers, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is easing regulations for summer flounder and tightening them up for tautog. The changes in regulations are designed to allow for ample recreational opportunity while taking a conservative approach to protecting the populations.

“Because Maryland anglers have remained under the summer flounder target harvest levels for the past two years, we are able to lower the minimum size limit and extend the season lightly to provide anglers more opportunity,” said DNR Fisheries Service Director Tom O’Connell. “As with other states along the coast, Maryland’s tautog regulations are more restrictive this year.”

The new regulations are as follows:

Summer flounder Regulations
Minimum size limit: 17 inches
Season dates and fish limit per angler per day:
April 14 - December 16, three fish
Tautog Regulations
Minimum size limit: 16-inches
Season dates and fish limit per angler:
April 2- May 15, four fish
May 16 - October 31, two fish
November 1-14, four fish

DNR may extend the Tautog November season if late breaking developments in the Atlantic Coast stock assessment warrant. However, under current regulations the season will close from November 15 through December 31, reopening on New Year’s Day 2013 with a four fish limit.

“Tautog provide unique fishing experiences on Maryland’s shore near reefs and wrecks,” said DNR Coastal Fisheries Program Manager Carrie Kennedy. “We are working with our partner states in the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to provide adequate conservation for tautog stocks, while maintaining ample fishing opportunity.”

Earlier this year, Charles Donohue of Philadelphia set a Maryland state record with the catch of a 23-pound ‘tog’ on a charter trip out of Ocean City.

Recreational anglers who register summer flounder and tautog measuring 24 inches or longer at any of the more than 60 Maryland Angler Award Centers across the State will receive free admission and a chance to win prizes at the 2012 Maryland Fishing Challenge Grand Finale. The event will take place at the Maryland Seafood Festival at Sandy Point State Park on September 8. Prizes include excellent tackle packages from Bass Pro shops and Bill’s Outdoor Center, a boat/trailer package from Tracker Marine, a vacation trip from World Fishing Network, Under Armour gear and other great prizes. More information on the Maryland Fishing Challenge, which this year honors fishing legend and author Lefty Kreh, lists of eligible fish species, sizes and Angler Award centers are available at

DNR invites all anglers to assist in the fisheries management process by participating in its online Volunteer Angler Survey at DNR is looking for trip information for bluefish, blue crab, striped bass, summer flounder, yellow perch and tournament largemouth bass.

DNR’s Angler’s Log is a family-friendly fishing report page where anglers can share what they are catching, fishing hotspots and techniques at Anglers may sign up to receive updates on Maryland fisheries news at Anglers may also follow DNR Fisheries on Facebook at and Twitter, @MDDNRFISH.

   April 18, 2012

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at