Gulf Hogfish

Gulf Hogfish

Scientific Name

Lachnolaimus maximus

Stock Assessment

SEDAR 37

Harvest Limits

Sector Annual Catch Limit
Stock   141,300 pounds

Regulations

Recreational Commercial
Season Open year-round. if the sum of commercial and recreational landings meet the stock ACL then, during the following fishing if the sum of landings is projected to reach the stock ACL then harvest will be prohibited for the remainder of the year. Season Open year-round. if the sum of commercial and recreational landings meet the stock ACL then, during the following fishing if the sum of landings is projected to reach the stock ACL then harvest will be prohibited for the remainder of the year.
Minimum Size Limit 14 inches fork length Minimum Size Limit 14 inches fork length
Bag Limit 5 per person Trip Limit none
Permit State issued recreational license/angler registry, federal angler registry or Federal charter/headboat permit for reef fish Permit Commercial vessel permit for reef fish is required. Additionally, an eastern Gulf reef fish bottom longline endorsement required to use bottom longline for Gulf reef fish in the federal waters east of 85°30′ longitude.
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. 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.

Hogfish Boundary Map

Region map Gulf Hogfish

 

Note:  Regulations specific to Gulf of Mexico hogfish management zone. Florida Keys hogfish are managed by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

Description:

Hogfish, or sometimes “hog snapper,” are actually a member of the wrasse family (Labridae).  They boast bright orange, yellow, and blueish-purple colorations.  Hogfish get their name from their elongated snout, which they use to root for crustaceans buried in the sediment.  Their tail is moon-shaped. Males have a characteristic black spot behind their pectoral fins.  Three stocks of hogfish are found in the southeastern US:  the Gulf of Mexico stock, the Florida Keys/East Florida stock, and the Georgia to North Carolina stock.  The Gulf stock occupies the west Florida continental shelf south to about Cape Sable (SEDAR 37, 2014).

Life History and Distribution:

Hogfish occur in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate waters from Brazil north to Bermuda, and throughout the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea.  Hogfish are protogynous hermaphrodites, beginning life as females and begin changing sex to male at ~14 inches FL.  All fish older than 10 years are thought to be male and sex changes are socially mediated.  According to stock characteristics the maximum age is 23 years, the maximum weight is 11 kg (24.3 pounds) whole weight, and the maximum length is 91 cm (35.8 inches) fork length. After a planktonic larval phase (~35 days), juveniles settle nearshore in estuaries, seagrass beds or shallow reefs, and gradually move offshore with growth.  Adults are often reef-associated (SEDAR 37, 2014).