Speckled Hind

Speckled Hind

Speckled Hind

Epinephelus drummondhayi

AKA:

Kitty Mitchell, Strawberry Grouper

Managed by:

SAFMC


Physical description:

The common names of this grouper stem from the profusion of tiny white spots that cover the deep reddish-brown head, body and fins. In addition to the normal color pattern, some juveniles undergo a xanthic phase, where white spots cover a light yellow background.


Biological description:

Speckled hind inhabit warm, moderately deep waters form Noth Carolina to Cuba, including Bermuda, the Bahamas and the Gulf of Mexico. Preferred habitats include high- and low-profile hard bottoms in depths of 25 to 183 meters, with temperatures of 60° to 85°F. They are most common between 60 and 120 meters. Off the Carolinas, the speckled hind is usually found inshore of deep-water reef fish (tilefish, snowy, warsaw and yellowedge groupers). Like other reef fish studied in the South Atlantic Bight, speckled hind seem to display a fish size-water depth relationship, smaller fish occur inshore, where larger fish are found in deeper waters. The world record is a 64-pound speckled hind, caught off North Carolina. They are protogynous hermaphrodites, with females reaching sexual maturity at 4 or 5 years of age (about 19-21 inches long). Spawning takes place offshore in July through September. Speckled hind generally engulf their prey whole, literally inhaling their food. Their life span is approximately 25 years.


South Atlantic Federal Regulations

Commercial:

  • Size Limit: Closed to harvest and possession in federal waters.
  • Trip Limit: Closed to harvest and possession in federal waters.
  • Regulatory Remarks: Closed to harvest and possession in federal waters.
  • Additional Updates: Closed to harvest and possession in federal waters.

Recreational:

  • Size Limit: Closed to harvest and possession in federal waters.
  • Bag Limit: Closed to harvest and possession in federal waters.
  • Regulatory Remarks: Closed to harvest and possession in federal waters.
  • Additional Updates: Closed to harvest and possession in federal waters.