Atlantic Spadefish Regulations

Atlantic Spadefish

Atlantic Spadefish

Chaetodipterus faber

AKA:

Angelfish

Managed by:

SAFMC


Physical description:

Spadefish are usually identified by their deep and laterally compressed bodies, small mouths, blunt heads and pointed dorsal and anal fins. Adults are silver gray with three to six prominent black vertical bars along the sides. The first bar passes through the eye, and the last is on the caudal peduncle. Juvenile Spadefish are usually black and are frequently misidentified.


Biological description:

Atlantic spadefish are found schooling near coastal reefs, wrecks and pilings from New England to southern Brazil, including the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Large spawning aggregations occur in the summer, although there is little information on the size of mature adults. The spadefish has been described as one of the most generalized reef fish in its food habits. The species feeds on plants, sponges, worms, crab and lobster found on reefs, bottom surfaces, mid-depths or at the surface.


South Atlantic Federal Regulations

Commercial:

  • OPEN
  • Minimum Size Limit: None
  • Trip Limit: None
  • Limited access permit required.
  • Regulatory Remarks:
    • 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 annual catch limit is met, all purchase and sale is prohibited and harvest and/or possession is limited to the recreational bag limit (while recreational harvest is open). This prohibition does not apply to fish harvested, landed, and sold prior to the annual catch limit being reached and held in cold storage by a dealer.
    • Charter/Headboat and Commercial snapper grouper vessels must have onboard NMFS approved sea turtle release gear and follow smalltooth sawfish release protocol. Click here to learn moreor 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.
    • Allowable Gear:
      • Vertical hook-and-line including hand-held hook-and-line and bandit gear. Spearfishing gear without rebreathers.
      • Powerheads, except where expressly prohibited in Special Management Zones (SMZs) and in the EEZ off South Carolina

Recreational:

  • OPEN
  • Minimum Size Limit: None
  • Bag Limit: Included in the 20 Fish Aggregate Bag Limit of 20 fish per person/day
    • Beginning March 30, 2020, the 20-fish per person per day aggregate bag limit remains in effect, however, an angler will be limited to harvesting 10 fish of any one species in the 20-fish aggregate
    • The aggregate bag limit applies to the following species: whitebone porgy, jolthead porgy, knobbed porgy, saucereye porgy, scup, gray triggerfish, bar jack, almaco jack, banded rudderfish, lesser amberjack, white grunt, margate, sailor’s choice, and Atlantic spadefish.
  • Regulatory Remarks:
    • 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.
    • Charter/Headboat and Commercial snapper grouper vessels must have onboard NMFS approved sea turtle release gear and follow smalltooth sawfish release protocol. Click here to learn more or call 727-824-5312.
    • Annual Catch Limit (ACL) - This species is managed under an ACL. See current information on Recreational ACLs from NOAA Fisheries.
  • Additional Updates: