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Thoughts on flounder misidentification ? (a bigger problem than we think?)

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JerseyJeb

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27 mins ago, JAL said:

What the hell are Fluke? There are Flounder (aka Summer Flounder) and Windowpanes (aka Winter Flounder). The pictures shown depict the two species.

Growing up here on Long Island in the 70's, Fluke are what you call Summer Flounder and what we call Flounder are your Windowpane or Winter Flounder.

And I never knew there was more than one type of Flounder.

Edited by tcarroll
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25 mins ago, tcarroll said:

Growing up here on Long Island in the 70's, Fluke are what you call Summer Flounder and what we call Flounder are your Windowpane or Winter Flounder.

And I never knew there was more than one type of Flounder.

Windowpane and winter flounder are two different species. The pics above are those that we see in Long Island Sound (specifically in New Haven Harbor) when I'm trawling with my students, so those are the ones I'm most familiar with.

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2 mins ago, baldwin said:

Windowpane and winter flounder are two different species. The pics above are those that we see in Long Island Sound (specifically in New Haven Harbor) when I'm trawling with my students, so those are the ones I'm most familiar with.

After looking at those pics,  it's defiantly Winter Flounder is what we caught back then. I don't think I've even seen Windowpane.  

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I believe that North Carolina has a very short summer flounder season--shorter than it needs to be--in order to protect its badly overfished southernn flounder, just because of this sort of misidentification problem.  The seasons for all three founder species run for a couple of weeks in September, with a 1-fish bag (that was last year).  If I understand the regulations correctly, one flounder, of any species, and you're limitred out.

 

The state also puts out a nice guide to help identify the three species.

 

https://ncseagrant.ncsu.edu/hooklinescience/can-you-identify-north-carolinas-three-species-of-flounder/

 

"I have always believed that outdoor writers who come out against fish and wildlife conservation are in the wrong business. To me, it makes as much sense golf writers coming out against grass.."  --  Ted Williams

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4 mins ago, Skin said:

Do their ranges overlap enough to make this a concern?

They do in North Carolina.  Not sure about Virginia.

"I have always believed that outdoor writers who come out against fish and wildlife conservation are in the wrong business. To me, it makes as much sense golf writers coming out against grass.."  --  Ted Williams

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On 5/13/2024 at 5:25 PM, albacized said:

Yeah, when it gets to the point where you have to start counting gill rakers, I’m out. 

Seems pretty crazy. Can law enforcement even tell the difference? Probably would make more sense to have the bag limit be an aggregate of all the similar species. 

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19 hours ago, z-man said:

Seems pretty crazy. Can law enforcement even tell the difference? Probably would make more sense to have the bag limit be an aggregate of all the similar species. 

That's exactly what North Carolina did.  Except given the dire state of their southern flounder, the aggregate bag limit is 1.

"I have always believed that outdoor writers who come out against fish and wildlife conservation are in the wrong business. To me, it makes as much sense golf writers coming out against grass.."  --  Ted Williams

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My guess is fisheries biologists will eventually find that Southern Flounder (P. lethostigma) occur much more often,  further north than we currently believe. 

 

Any Flounder fisherman can tell you that color, spots, contrasts on the fish are all dependent on  environmental factors. So spot patterns and ocellations cannot be "black and white" positive ID traits.

 

I believe a lot more Flounder fall in the middle ground of this color/spot/ocellation continuum, that may also be affected by the water temp, bottom type/contrast/color, depth, [or for all we know], latitude.

 

These fish may be either kept, or released with the angler (or even biologist) simply assuming "Summer Flounder". 

 

 

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