Scamp

Scamp Grouper

Mycteroperca phenax

Managed by:

SAFMC


Physical description:

Related to the gag and other slender-bodied groupers, the scamp are identified by their pronounced anal and soft dorsal ray extensions, a more concave profile of the head, and by color. Scamp have a tan to grayish-brown body covered with sharply defined, well-separated dark spots, which are approximately an eighth of an inch in diameter.


Biological description:

The scamp inhabits continental shelf waters from the Campeche Banks, in the Gulf of Mexico, to Florida and northward along the East Coast to North Carolina. Although the species occasionally congregates over high-profile bottom, such as wrecks and rock outcroppings, the preferred habitat is low-profile, live bottom areas in waters 75-300 feet deep. These areas are characterized by profuse growths of soft corals and sponges populated by red grouper, white grunt, red porgy and numerous species of small, tropical reef fish. Scamp that are 3 years old or larger than 16 inches are characterized as sexually mature. Scamp spawn thousands of pelagic eggs in offshore waters from April to May. They may live up to 30 years and have been recorded at 21 years of age. They may reach a length of 43 inches and a weight of 36 pounds. Scamp can be aggressive predators and will swallow crabs, shrimp and other fish whole.


South Atlantic Federal Regulations

Commercial:

  • CLOSED, effective January 1, 2017. The fishery will reopen on May 1, 2017.
  • Size Limit:  20-inch total length
  • Trip Limit:  No trip limit.
  • Regulatory Remarks:
    • Annual Shallow-water Grouper Spawning Season Closure January 1 through April 30. Prohibition on recreational and commercial harvest or possession of: gag, black grouper, red grouper, scamp, red hind, rock hind, coney, graysby, yellowfin grouper, and yellowmouth grouper.
    • All species must be landed with head and fins intact.
    • Recreational and commercial fishermen are required to use dehooking tools when fishing for snapper grouper species.
    • The use of non-stainless steel circle hooks (offset or non-offset) is required for all species in the snapper grouper complex when using hook-and-line gear with natural baits in waters North of 28 degress N. latitude.
    • After the commercial quota is met, all purchase and sale is prohibited and harvest and/or possession is limited to the recreational bag limit. This prohibition does not apply to fish harvested, landed, and sold prior to the quota being reached and held in cold storage by a dealer. Quotas are given in gutted weights.
    • Commercial snapper grouper vessels must have onboard NMFS approved sea turtle release gear and follow smalltooth sawfish release protocol. See the Handling and Release Protocol from NOAA Fisheries or call 727-824-5312.
    • Annual Catch Limit (ACL) -This species is managed under an ACL. See current information on Commercial ACLs (quotas) from NOAA Fisheries.
  • Additional Updates:

Recreational:

  • CLOSED, effective January 1, 2017. The fishery will reopen on May 1, 2017.
  • Size Limit: Otherwise, 20 inch total length
  • Bag Limit:  Included in Aggregate Grouper Bag Limit of 3 groupers per person/day
  • Regulatory Remarks:
    • Included in Aggregate Grouper bag limit of 3 groupers per person/day. Aggregate species include: gag, black, snowy, misty, red, scamp, yellowedge, yellowfin, yellowmouth grouper; blueline, sand, golden tilefish; coney, graysby, red hind and rock hind.
    • Annual Shallow-water Grouper Spawning Season Closure January 1 through April 30. Prohibition on recreational and commercial harvest or possession of: gag, black grouper, red grouper, scamp, red hind, rock hind, coney, graysby, yellowfin grouper, and yellowmouth grouper.
    • All species must be landed with head and fins intact.
    • Recreational and commercial fishermen are required to use dehooking tools when fishing for snapper grouper species.
    • The use of non-stainless steel circle hooks (offset or non-offset) is required for all species in the snapper grouper complex when using hook-and-line gear with natural baits in waters North of 28 degress N. latitude.
    • The sale of bag-limit caught snapper grouper species is prohibited.
    • Annual Catch Limit (ACL) - This species is managed under an ACL. See current information on Recreational ACLs from NOAA Fisheries.
  • Additional Updates: