Winter flounder is a fast growing flatfish, distributed along the Atlantic coast from Labrador to North Carolina. They are typically found in inshore bays and estuaries in the winter and deeper waters in the summer. Spawning migrations to deeper, cooler waters of estuaries or offshore areas occurs in the spring and summer.
There are three managed populations of Winter Flounder – Georges Bank, Gulf of Maine and southern New England/Mid-Atlantic Bight – but all are overfished with very low abundance.
Winter Flounder is most commonly caught by bottom trawling, often in shallow coastal areas that are important nursery grounds for other commercial fish. Bottom trawling can greatly damage the seafloor.