Speckled Hind Regulations

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 yellowish phase, where white spots cover a light yellow background.


Biological description:

Speckled hind inhabit warm, moderately deep waters from North 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. 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.
  • Gear Requirements: Allowable gear includes vertical hook-and-line, including hand line and bandit gear, and spearfishing gear without rebreathers.
    • Dehooking Tool Requirement: Recreational and commercial fishermen are required to use dehooking tools when fishing for snapper grouper species.
      • At least one dehooking device is required and must be used as needed to remove hooks embedded in South Atlantic snapper-grouper with minimum damage.
      • The hook removal device must be constructed to allow the hook to be secured and the barb shielded without re-engaging during the removal process.
      • The dehooking end must be blunt, and all edges rounded. The device must be of a size appropriate to secure the range of hook sizes and styles used in the South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery.
    • Descending Device Requirement:
      • Requirement: A descending device is required to be on board and readily available for use on all vessels fishing for or possessing snapper-grouper species;
      • Definition of a Descending Device: an instrument to which is attached a minimum of a 16 ounce weight and a length of line that will release the fish at the depth from which the fish was caught or a minimum of 60 feet.
      • The descending device attaches to the fish’s mouth or is a container that will hold the fish.  The device MUST be capable of releasing the fish automatically, by the actions of the operator of the device, or by allowing the fish to escape on its own.
      • Since minimizing surface time is critical to increasing survival, descending devices shall be readily available for use while engaged in fishing.
    • Hook Requirements: All hooks, regardless of type, must be constructed of non-stainless steel.
      • North of 28º North Latitude:
        • The use of Non-offset, non-stainless steel circle hooks is required when
          fishing for snapper-grouper species with hook-and-line gear and natural baits north of 28º north latitude.  
        • A circle hook is defined as a fishing hook designed and manufactured so that the point is turned perpendicularly back to the shank to form a generally circular, or oval, shape.
      • South of 28º North Latitude:
        • The use of non-stainless steel hooks when fishing for snapper-grouper species with hook-and-line gear and natural baits south of 28º north latitude.  
  •  

    Click here for helpful resources, including:

      • best fishing practices tips
      • information on hook types
      • how-to videos

 

Recreational:

  • Size Limit: Closed to harvest and possession in federal waters.
  • Bag Limit: Closed to harvest and possession in federal waters.
  • Gear Requirements: Allowable gear includes vertical hook-and-line, including hand line and bandit gear, and spearfishing gear without rebreathers.
    • Dehooking Tool Requirement: Recreational and commercial fishermen are required to use dehooking tools when fishing for snapper grouper species.
      • At least one dehooking device is required and must be used as needed to remove hooks embedded in South Atlantic snapper-grouper with minimum damage.
      • The hook removal device must be constructed to allow the hook to be secured and the barb shielded without re-engaging during the removal process.
      • The dehooking end must be blunt, and all edges rounded. The device must be of a size appropriate to secure the range of hook sizes and styles used in the South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery.
    • Descending Device Requirement:
      • Requirement: A descending device is required to be on board and readily available for use on all vessels fishing for or possessing snapper-grouper species;
      • Definition of a Descending Device: an instrument to which is attached a minimum of a 16 ounce weight and a length of line that will release the fish at the depth from which the fish was caught or a minimum of 60 feet.
      • The descending device attaches to the fish’s mouth or is a container that will hold the fish.  The device MUST be capable of releasing the fish automatically, by the actions of the operator of the device, or by allowing the fish to escape on its own.
      • Since minimizing surface time is critical to increasing survival, descending devices shall be readily available for use while engaged in fishing.
    • Hook Requirements: All hooks, regardless of type, must be constructed of non-stainless steel.
      • North of 28º North Latitude:
        • The use of Non-offset, non-stainless steel circle hooks is required when
          fishing for snapper-grouper species with hook-and-line gear and natural baits north of 28º north latitude.  
        • A circle hook is defined as a fishing hook designed and manufactured so that the point is turned perpendicularly back to the shank to form a generally circular, or oval, shape.
      • South of 28º North Latitude:
        • The use of non-stainless steel hooks when fishing for snapper-grouper species with hook-and-line gear and natural baits south of 28º north latitude.  
  •  

    Click here for helpful resources, including:

      • best fishing practices tips
      • information on hook types
      • how-to videos