White Grunt Regulations

White Grunt

White Grunt

Haemulon plumierii

AKA:

Ruby Red Lips, Red Mouth Grunt, Common Grunt

Managed by:

SAFMC


Physical description:

The white grunt is silver-gray, with numerous blue and yellow horizontal stripes on the body and head with a white underbelly. Mouth is large and bright orange. On some individuals the scales are tipped with bronze. The pectoral fins are chalky and the other fins are gray. The lining of the body cavity, or peritoneum, is black.


Biological description:

White grunt occur in tropical and warm-temperature waters, inhabiting irregular bottom areas of the continental shelf from Virginia to Brazil, including Bermuda, the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Audible grunting is produced by grinding of the pharyngeal teeth, with the air bladder acting as an amplifier. White grunts are sexually mature during their third year, or when they reach about 10 inches long. Spawning occurs in the late spring and summer. The species is reported to live as long as 13 years, attaining a length of 25 inches and weight of 8 pounds. White grunt are carnivores that feed on bottom-dwelling invertebrates by rooting around in the sand and shell hash between rocky ledges and at the bases of coral formations.


South Atlantic Federal Regulations

Commercial:

  • OPEN
  • Minimum Size Limit: None
  • Trip Limit: None
  • Limited access permit required
  • Included in the Grunts Complex (white grunt, margate, sailor’s choice, tomtate)
  • 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 for the Grunts Complex (white grunt, margate, sailor’s choice, tomtate) 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 more or call 727-824-5312.
    • Annual Catch Limit (ACL) -This species is managed under an ACL (Grunts Complex). 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
  • Trip Limit: Included in the 20 Fish Aggregate Bag Limit.
    • 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.