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north carolina marine & estuary foundation

Southern Flounder

7.27% = DEPLETED

How It’s Calculated

FINDEX measures the gaps between target values necessary for population recovery and the current estimates of those values. For Southern Flounder, the gap assessment used target and terminal values of fishing mortality and spawning stock biomass from the NC Division of Marine Fisheries’ most recent stock assessment.

Here's the FINDEX formula used for Southern Flounder:

  • (0.385 x 0.189) x 100 = 7.27%
  • FINDEX = 7.27%
  • 7.27% = DEPLETED

What does Depleted mean?

Depleted indicates that the stock is overfished and severely impaired. Southern Flounder are being removed too rapidly from the stock, and the estimated number of spawning females in the population is well below target levels for a sustainable fishery. Factors contributing to Depleted FINDEX status include overfishing, low numbers of mature females, poor recruitment, and natural mortality.

Commercial Trends

The graph below illustrates commercial trends for Southern Flounder from 1990 through 2022. In 2022, commercial fishers harvested 362,062 pounds of Southern Flounder valued at $928,701. Supporting data was sourced from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.

No Data Found

Recreational Trends

The graph below illustrates recreational trends for Southern Flounder from 1990 through 2022. In 2022, recreational fishers harvested an estimated 70,945 Southern Flounder weighing 166,102 pounds. Supporting data was sourced from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.

No Data Found

State Record

  • North Carolina’s state record flounder was landed at Carolina Beach in 1980 by Harold Auten
  • The fish weighed a whopping 20-lbs, 8-oz

Did you know?

  • Southern Flounder are considered 100% mature at 22-inches or 3-years
  • They can grow to be as large as 33-inches and live to be 10-years old
  • Catches in North Carolina range from 15 to 18-inches and 1-2 years

2022 Harvest Seasons for Southern Flounder

  • The 2022 recreational flounder season will open at 12:01 a.m. Sept. 1 and close at 11:59 p.m. Sept. 30
  • The season will open with the following provisions for both the recreational hook-and-line and gig fisheries: One-fish per person per day creel limit, and a 15-inch total length minimum size limit

What’s next?

As our team diligently refines FINDEX, we are committed to delivering the most recent stock status updates for North Carolina’s diverse finfish species. Subscribe below to receive a stream of inshore insights and stay current with our coastal initiatives. 

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