Yellowtail Snapper

Yellowtail Snapper

Yellowtail Snapper

Ocyurus chrysurus

AKA:

Yellowtail

Managed by:

SAFMC


Physical description:

The scientific name of the yellowtail snapper roughly translates to "swift-swimming golden fish". The coloration is characterized by a prominent lateral yellow stripe originating on the snout, widening posteriorly, and covering the caudal fin. The back and upper sides are olive to bluish with yellow irregular spots. The belly and lower sides have narrow longitudinal stripes that are pale red to yellow, and the fins are yellowish.


Biological description:

The yellowtail snapper is distributed from North Carolina to southeastern Brazil, but most abundant in the Bahamas, off south Florida and in the Caribbean. It appears to have the same role in the tropical reef fish community that the vermilion snapper has with reef fish assemblages in the more northerly latitiudes. Both species form schools and are found above the bottom over hard substrates in waters 60-300 feet deep. Spawning takes place from April through August. Most females are sexually mature by age 3, when they are at least 9 inches. The shape of the body and tail and size of the mouth and eye suggest that yellowtail snappers feed differently from most lutjanids. The majority of animals making up the diet are found on the bottom. Most western Atlantic snappers feed predominantly on benthic fish and large invertebrates.


South Atlantic Federal Regulations

Commercial:

  • Size Limit: CLOSED, effective June 3, 2017 at 12:01 AM. Harvest reopens August 1 , 2017. 12-inch total length
  • Trip Limit: None
  • Regulatory Remarks:
    • CLOSED effective  June 3, 2017 at 12:01 AM.
    • 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 degrees 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:

  • Size Limit: 12-inch total length
  • Trip Limit: Included in Aggregate Snapper Bag Limit of 10 snapper per person/day (excluding red snapper and vermilion snapper)
  • Regulatory Remarks:
    • Included in Aggregate Snapper Bag Limit of 10 snapper per person/day (excluding red snapper and vermilion snapper) – Note: cubera snapper less than 30-inches total length are included in this limit.
    • 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 degrees 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: