Scup

Scup

Stenotomus chrysops

AKA:

Nelly Hunt

Managed by:

SAFMC


Physical description:

Scup are deep-bodied and have very spiny fins. The front teeth are incisor-form and are very narrow, almost conical. There are two rows of molars in the upper jaw. Longspine porgy are similar, but may be readily identified by their elongated dorsal spines. Scup are dusky brown with somewhat bright silverly reflections below. The fins are mottled with dark brown in the adults and the young may be faintly barred.


Biological description:

Scup inhabit the nearshore region of the continental shelf from Nove Scotia to South Carolina, and prefer hard bottom habitats, such as rock outcroppings and wrecks in waters of 45° F or wamer. Spawning takes place from May to August in northern portions of the range. Sexual maturity is attained when fish are 2 years old and about 8 inches long. The eggs and larvae are pelagic and are carried by currents and winds before settling to the bottom. Scup may live to be 15 years old, reaching a length of 18 inches and a weight of 3 pounds. Scup are browsers; they nibble on invertebrates that live on the ocean bottom. They are able to grasp foods with their incisors, and then crush hard-shelled animals with their strong molars.


South Atlantic Federal Regulations

Commercial:

  • OPEN, effective January 1, 2017 
  • Size Limit: None
  • Trip Limit: None
  • Regulatory Remarks:
    • There are two management entities that work cooperatively to develop fishery regulations for scup: the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC), in conjunction with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).
    • For more information, check the Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council website: www.mafmc.org
  • Additional Updates:

Recreational:

  • OPEN, effective January 1, 2017. 
  • Size Limit: None
  • Bag Limit: Included in the 20 Fish Aggregate Bag Limit.
  • Regulatory Remarks:
    • Included in the 20 Fish Aggregate Bag Limit - There is an aggregate bag limit of 20 fish per person inclusive of all fish in the snapper grouper complex currently not under a bag limit. A fisherman may catch their bag limits and additionally retain up to 20 other fish for which there is no bag limit, including this species.
    • There are two management entities that work cooperatively to develop fishery regulations for scup: the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC), in conjunction with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).
    • For more information, check the Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council website: www.mafmc.org
  • Additional Updates: