DEC Adopts New Recreational Fluke, Whelk Fishing Regulations

A 13.3-pound fluke was caught August 11 outside of Shinnecock Bay by East End Bait & Tackle customer Mike.
A 13.3-pound fluke was caught August 11 outside of Shinnecock Bay by East End Bait & Tackle customer Mike.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced new recreational saltwater fishing regulations for fluke, in place now, and new whelk harvesting rules for later this summer.

Fluke aka summer flounder
Fluke aka summer flounderCourtesy NYS DEC

Fluke Regulations

According to the DEC, changes to the fluke season, which began on May 1 this year, will provide more opportunities for anglers by extending the season a total of 12 fishing days to end on October 9, 2022, and decreasing the minimum size limit by half an inch.

The NYS recreational summer flounder season in 2022 is now open from May 1 to October 9, 2022 — instead of the previous May 4 to September 30 window — and anglers are allowed four fish at a minimum size limit of 18.5 inches in response to new interstate fishery management plan requirements.

Recreational regulations for fluke are now the same in NY State as Connecticut’s regulations in order to “maintain consistency in the Long Island Sound and maximize the benefit to recreational anglers and associated industries,” the DEC says, pointing to the complete text of the rulemaking on their website.

DEC is accepting comments on the fluke regulations from May 18–July 18. Written comments can be sent by mail to Rachel Sysak, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 123 Kings Park Blvd., Kings Park, NY 11754 or by email to [email protected].

Common whelk
Common whelkGetty Images

Whelk Regulations

As of May 11, 2022, the minimum size for whelk is 5 ½-inch shell length or 2 ¼-inch shell height for all marine waters of NY State except the Long Island Sound Region (LIS), which has less stringent regs that will go in effect later this summer. The LIS includes all marine and coastal district waters lying east of the Throgs Neck Bridge and west of a line that runs from Orient Point to Watch Hill, Rhode Island.

Effective August 1, 2022, the minimum size limit for whelk in the Long Island Sound Region is 4 ¾-inch shell length or 1 15/16-inch shell height. Shell length will increase by ¼ inch every other year through 2028 to coordinate with Connecticut.

Additional Regulations Changes

A bait saving device is required to contain horseshoe crabs or horseshoe crab parts used for bait in whelk pots or traps.

Establishes gear marking requirements consistent with New York State commercial crab and lobster fisheries.

A buoy line must be constructed so that the line does not float at the surface, such as a sinking line or weighted line.

Whelk pots or traps cannot exceed a volume larger than 22,950 cubic inches.

Whelk cannot be taken by whelk pots or traps one hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise.

Whelk pots or traps cannot be placed within 25 feet of designated navigation channels.

For all current regulations in effect, check DEC’s Recreational Saltwater Fishing Regulations.

More from Our Sister Sites