HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Saturday marked the first day of the new bag limit for flounder. This comes after the state passed legislation that increases the size limit and lowers the bag and boat limits for flounder in state waters.
Flounder ranks among South Carolina's top three most-popular fish. The new legislation changes the minimum legal size for flounder from 14 inches to 15 inches long, and the bag limit from 15 to 10 with a maximum boat limit of 20 flounders per day.
"I think it's a good thing because flounder - the population really needs to grow," said Christine McConkey, Manager at Mr. Fish Seafood Market.
According to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, flounder started to decline in the last 20 years. Part of the reason, according to the SCDNR, is that the fish do not have enough time to reproduce before they are caught.
"At the size the limit was set before they were too small and they weren't able to reach maturity. So if they get a little bigger that lets females get a chance to reach maturity so they can maintain the population," said McConkey.
The SCDNR estimates that with the new limit, about 30 percent fewer fish will be taken in the first year or two.