Yellowedge Grouper

Yellowedge Grouper

Scientific Name

Epinephelus flavolimbatus

Stock Status

Overfishing – No

Overfished – No

Stock Assessment

SEDAR 22

Regulations

Recreational Commercial
Season Open year-round. Season Yellowedge grouper is managed under an individual fishing quota (IFQ) program. Anyone commercially fishing for yellowedge grouper must possess allocation and follow established protocols.
Minimum Size none Minimum Size none
Bag Limit 4 per person within the 4-grouper aggregate bag limit which includes gag, red grouper, black grouper, scamp, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth grouper, yellowedge grouper, snowy grouper, speckled hind, and warsaw. No grouper may be retained by the captain or crew of a vessel operating as a charter vessel or headboat. Trip Limit none
Permit State issued recreational license 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.

Harvest Limits

 Combined stock ACL for yellowedge grouper, warsaw grouper, snowy grouper, and speckled hind – 1,070,000 pounds gutted weight
 Combined stock ACT for yellowedge grouper, warsaw grouper, snowy grouper, and speckled hind – 1,024,000 pounds

Description

The yellowedge grouper’s range extends from North Carolina to Florida, including the Gulf of Mexico, to southern Brazil.  It is also found in parts of the Caribbean.  This grouper is a tan to grayish brown color on its back and sides, fading to a pale white below.  A thin blue line extends from the eyes to the corner of the bottom edge of the cheek.  The edges of the dorsal and pectoral fins are yellow; sometimes the edge of the tail is also yellow.  The juvenile yellowedge has indistinct pale spots that fade as the fish ages.  It may also have a saddle-like black blotch at the base of its tail fin.

 

Maximum observed age:  85 years1

Age at maturity:  ~ 6 to 8 years2, 1

Maximum weight:  48.56 pounds (22.03 kilograms)3

Maximum length:  45.28 inches (115 centimeters)4

Life History and Distribution

A solitary species, yellowedge grouper prefers rocky, sandy, muddy bottoms or reefs.  In habitats with soft bottoms, this fish has been observed to dig and occupy burrows.  Juvenile fish are found in shallower water and move out to deeper depths as they grow older.5   Adults can be found at depths typically from 410 – 984 feet (125 – 300 meters).5   Yellowedge grouper exhibits hermaphroditism, like other species within the grouper family.  It spawns from February to November in the Gulf of Mexico, with peak spawning from March to September.1

References

  1. SEDAR 22. 2011. Gulf of Mexico Yellowedge Grouper. Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review.  North Charleston, South Carolina.
  2. Farmer, N.A., Malinowski, R.P., McGovern, M.F. and Rubec, P.J. (2016), Stock Complexes for Fisheries Management in the Gulf of Mexico. Marine and Coastal Fisheries, 8: 177-201. doi:1080/19425120.2015.1024359
  3. IGFA All Tackle Record, Dauphin Island, Alabama
  4. Kobara, S., B. Erisman, W. Heyman, C. Biggs, N. Farmer, S. Lowerre-Barbieri, M. Karnauskas, and J. Brenner. 2017. Cooperative monitoring program for spawning aggregations in the Gulf of Mexico: data portal. Version 1.0 GCOOS, USA.
  5. Cook, M., Gary R. Fitzhugh, and James S. Franks. 2009. Validation of yellowedge grouper, Epinephelus flavolimbatus, age using nuclear bomb-produced radiocarbon. Environ. Biol. Fish. 86:461-472.