Gulf Stock Characteristics

SEDAR 51, 2017

Natural mortality rate (M): 0.15/year

Female sexual maturity: 50% at 2.3 years or 10 inches (253 mm) FL; 90% at 5.2 years or 14.2 inches (362 mm) FL; no meaningful contribution until 11.8 inches (300 mm) FL

Maximum observed age: 32 years; 28 years used in SEDAR 51

Maximum weight: 48.83 lbs (22.15 kg) whole weight (West Florida/Alabama)

Maximum length: ~35 inches (89 cm) FL

Discard mortality: 6.9% recreational; 14% commercial handline; 66% commercial longline

Current Federal Regulations:

Quota: 

    • Stock ACL 2,420,000 pounds

Recreational:

    • Season:  Open year-round. If landings reach the stock ACL, harvest will be prohibited for the remainder of the fishing year.
    • Size:  12 inches
    • Bag Limit:  Within the 10-snapper aggregate bag limit which includes gray, mutton, yellowtail, cubera, queen, blackfin, winchmen, and silk snappers.
    • Permit/License:  State issued recreational license or Federal charter/headboat permit for reef fish
    • Gear:  Non-stainless steel circle hooks are required when fishing with natural baits. At least one dehooking device is required and must be used to remove hooks.

Commercial:

    • Season:  Open year-round. If landings reach the stock ACL, harvest will be prohibited for the remainder of the fishing year.
    • Size:  12 inches
    • Trip Limit:  none
    • Permit:  Commercial vessel permit for reef fish is required.
    • Gear:  Non-stainless steel circle hooks are required when fishing with natural baits. At least one dehooking device is required and must be used to remove hooks.

Description:

Gray snapper, also called mangrove snapper or “mangoes,” are found throughout the Gulf of Mexico. They can vary in coloration, but are generally dark gray and brown on the upper half, with pink and orange coloration on the lower half of the fish. Their tail is broad and slightly forked. Males and females are largely indistinguishable from one another. Two stocks exist in the southeastern US: the Gulf of Mexico stock, and the Atlantic stock. The Gulf stock occupies the Gulf of Mexico east to approximately Biscayne Bay, near the Miami-Dade/Monroe County line in south Florida.

Life History and Distribution:

Gray snapper occur in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate waters from Brazil to Bermuda, and throughout the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. Spawning occurs primarily in the summer months, between May and September. Gray snapper spend their first month of life in a larval phase, floating as plankton. As juveniles, gray snapper settle nearshore in estuaries, seagrass beds or shallow reefs, and gradually move offshore as they grow larger. Adults are often reef- or structure-associated (SEDAR 51, 2017).

Landings Summary