Mutton Snapper

Mutton Snapper

Scientific Name

Lutjanus analis

Stock Status

Overfishing – No

Overfished – No

Stock Assessment

SEDAR 15A

Regulations

Recreational Commercial
Season Open year-round. If landings reach the stock ACL, harvest will be prohibited for the remainder of the fishing year. Season Open year-round. If landings reach the stock ACL, harvest will be prohibited for the remainder of the fishing year.
Minimum Size Limit 18 inches total length Minimum Size Limit 18 inches total length
Bag Limit 5 fish per person within the 10-snapper aggregate bag limit which includes gray, mutton, yellowtail, cubera, queen, blackfin, wenchman, and silk snappers. 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.
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.

Harvest Limits

Sector Annual Catch Limit
Stock   143,694 pounds

Description

Mutton snapper is a single genetic stock, and is found from Massachusetts south to Brazil.  Within the Gulf of Mexico, these fish tend to be most abundant off southwest Florida.  Mutton snapper is an olive color, progressing from darker to lighter in color from top to bottom. Distinguishing features include blue lines below and behind the eyes with a small black spot present on both sides.  The anal fin and rear edge of the dorsal fin are pointed and the tail fin is rounded.  Mutton snapper is often confused with lane snapper; the small blue streaks on the face and the pointed anal and dorsal fins distinguish muttons from lanes.

 

Maximum observed age:  40 years1

Age at maturity: 100% mature at ~5 – 7 years2

Maximum weight:  30.25 pounds (13.72 kilograms) whole weight3

Maximum length:  37.95 inches (96.40 centimeters) observed4

Life History and Distribution

Although mutton snapper can be found as far north as Massachusetts and as far south as Brazil, it is rare north of North Carolina.  It is most often found in tropical waters such as the Caribbean Sea and the Bahamas.  Eggs and larvae are pelagic, floating in the water column until they settle in shallow inshore waters.  As juveniles, mutton snapper shelters in seagrass and mangrove habitats.  Mutton snapper is a solitary fish that likes structure, and tends to move offshore into deeper water as it ages.5 It spawns in aggregations from February to August depending on location and water temperature.

References

  1. SEDAR 15A, South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Mutton Snapper Final Stock Assessment Report, February 2008
  2. SEDAR 15A, South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Mutton Snapper Final Stock Assessment Report, February 2008
  3. IGFA All Tackle Record, Florida Keys
  4. SEDAR 15A, South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Mutton Snapper Final Stock Assessment Report, February 2008
  5. SEDAR 15A, South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Mutton Snapper Final Stock Assessment Report, February 2008