There are 4 options with in season closures. 2 options are 18″, 8 fish and the season is either may 15 to July 20 & August 3 to Sept. 13 OR May 20 to July 19 & July 30 to Sept. 11.
The other 2 are 18″ and 6 fish and the season would be May 13 to July 20 & August 3 to Sept. 16 OR May 18 to July 19 & July 30 to Sept. 13.
Currently it is believed the 18.5 inch option (which would have an 8 fish bag and a season from May 9 to October 4) would not be allowed since the ASMFC required a minimum of 50% of any reduction (if a reduction was needed of course) to come from season closure. Since that option has no seasonal closure and actually gives a longer season, and since it takes 100% of the reduction from size limit and none from season, it is believed that it would not be allowed based on the rule from the ASMFC. It does give more of a reduction than that required, so one would think the extra reduction would make up for the lack of seasonal closure, but the motion from the ASMFC was specific in requiring 50% of a reduction to come from season. Currently the state is assuming the 18.5″ option would not be allowed and is looking for clarification from ASMFC.
Tony, Thank you for the information. 2-19-09