May 1st, 2009 10:06 EST
Conservation Floundering About
It is a concept born of a desire to see flounder populations restored to historic levels and for southern flounder to take their rightful place alongside redfish and speckled trout as a top inland sport fish.
The title came during a conversation when someone asked me how it felt to be the leader of the flounder conservation movement.
I don`t like movements, " I replied.
By definition they go only so far and stop. A revolution however keeps coming back around and stays in your face. This not a movement but a flounder revolution. "
My guiding principle for all things outdoors is based on the health of the resource and access for the average person to participate. This will be at the core of Flounder Revolution, which despite the far-reaching aspects of what you are about to see is only just beginning. In an effort to promote the catch and release of the big, breeding female flounder, I am collaborating with Texas Fish & Game (TF&G) and Global Fish Mounts.
From March-November, we will be taking submissions from anglers photographing and releasing flounder measuring 20 inches or more. According to Mark Fisher with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) these are pretty rare catches for coastal anglers.
From our 2007-2008 creel survey, the percentage of flounder landed over
18 inches was 3.2 percent. Flounder over 20 inches was 0.8 percent and flounder 24 inches and greater was one fish out of 2,551 measured, " Fisher said.
At the end of each month, the angler who submits the largest released flounder will receive a high quality replica of their catch produced by Global Fish Mounts.
Then at the end of the nine-month cycle, the angler who submits the most released flounder measuring 20 inches or more will be our Flounder Angler of the Year " and receive a special trophy, a story on the achievement in TF&G and prizes worth more than $1,000.
We know there are skilled anglers that catch these kinds of trophy flounder and we want to recognize that achievement while promoting turning them back and eating the small ones. For full details on submitting your catch, go to http://www.flounderrevolution.com and click on the Replica Program link.
Comment on this story, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or join the SOP friend network with your Google, Yahoo, AOL, MSN or one ID account located on the front page of www.thesop.org.