Marine - Species - Southern Flounder

Recreational Fishery in SC

Southern Flounder Recreational Fishery 1981-2011

Peak years for recreational southern flounder occurred in 1985-1986 and 2004-2006. There was an overall increasing trend from the late 1980's through the series peak in 2006. Since 2006 recreational landings for southern flounder have been declining. The most recent 10 year average (183,344 fish per year), was higher than the annual catch in all but three years (2004, 2006, 2008). The current size limit (14 inch minimum total length) and bag limit (20 fish per person per day) was enacted in 2007.

Commercial flounder landings are not tracked by species, but combined as group to include all species of the genus Paralichthys. Total commercial landings for flounder in South Carolina have been steadily declining since the 1980's. The recent 10 year average (2001-2011) of 3,148 live pounds is significantly less than landings in the 1980's (52,972 live pounds) and the 1990's (12,108 live pounds). The primary gear targeting flounder in South Carolina in recent years include both trawls and gigs.

The recreational catch data is provided by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), which conducts phone and angler-intercept surveys to monitor angler activities and catches. For more information see: http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/.

The commercial fisheries data is provided by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), which compiles commercial information provided by state agencies. For more information, see: http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/.

Additional Graph Information

Commercial and recreational catches are measured in number of individuals or pounds of fish caught. Changes in catch among years may be the result of changes in abundance, fishing effort, or a combination of the two.

On each graph, the horizontal dotted lines above or below the "10 year average" represent one "standard deviation" unit, which is a measure of how variable the annual data are around the 10-year average. In general, the area between one standard deviation above the mean and one standard deviation below the mean includes approximately 68% of all values. Approximately 95% of observations in the data set are found within two standard deviation units of the average and is referred to as the prediction interval.