Yellowtail Snapper Regulations

Yellowtail Snapper

Yellowtail Snapper

Ocyurus chrysurus

AKA:

Yellowtail

Managed by:

SAFMC

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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.

There is a Fishery Performance Report available for this species - Click Here

Recreational Regulations

Recreational Season:

The following regulations apply to Yellowtail Snapper in federal waters (3-200 nautical miles) off the coasts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and East Florida.

  • Open Season: January 1 - December 31
    • Note: since this species is managed under an Annual Catch Limit, the fishery could close if the recreational Annual Catch Limit is met or projected to be met. If an in-season closure were to be announced by NOAA Fisheries, all relevant information will be included here.

 

 

Recreational Bag and Size Limits

  • Bag Limit: 10 fish per person per day

 

  • 10 Snapper Aggregate Bag Limit: 10 fish per person per day
    • This means that an angler may harvest or possess a total of 10 fish per person per day, in any combination of species listed below. Note: some species have other restrictions, so be sure to visit the links for each species page for additional details. 
    • For example, an angler may retain 10 Blackfin Snapper, or 4 Blackfin Snapper, 4 Queen Snapper, and 2 Silk Snapper. 

 

  • Minimum Size Limit: 12 inch total length
  •  

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

NOTE: All other recreational gear requirements apply (see other tabs for details).

 

Permit Requirements

A Federal For-Hire Permit is Required

  • Click Here to Learn More
  • When harvest of this species closes in federal waters, vessels with a federal charter/for-hire permit cannot retain this species in state or federal waters.
  • Beginning January 4, 2021, all vessels with a federal charter/headboat permit for Atlantic coastal migratory pelagics, Atlantic dolphin and wahoo, or South Atlantic snapper-grouper will be required to electronically report their catch. Learn more.

 

Sea Turtle Release Gear Requirements

  • All species must be landed with head and fins intact
  • Recreational Bag Limit sales are prohibited 

 

Fish Rules Mobile App

Mobile App - Fish Rules

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to see some "Frequently Asked Questions."

DOWNLOAD for Android
DOWNLOAD for Apple 

 

Recreational Regulations Summary

Click the image for a summary of regulations for some snapper grouper species

 

Current Fishery Closures

Click the image for a summary of current fishery closures

Commercial Regulations

Commercial Permit:

Commercial Season:

The following regulations apply to Yellowtail Snapper in federal waters (3-200 nautical miles) off the coasts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and East Florida.

  • Open Season: August 1 - July 31
    • Note: since this species is managed under an Annual Catch Limit, the fishery could close if commercial Annual Catch Limit is met or projected to be met. If an in-season closure were to be announced by NOAA Fisheries, all relevant information will be included here.

Commercial Trip and Size Limits

 

  • Trip Limit: None

 

  • Minimum Size Limit: 12-inch total length

 

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

 

Sea Turtle Release Gear Requirements

Annual Catch Limit

This species is managed under an Annual Catch Limit (ACL).

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.

Click here for details 

  • All species must be landed with head and fins intact

Fish Rules Mobile App

Mobile App - Fish Rules

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to see some "Frequently Asked Questions."

DOWNLOAD for Android
DOWNLOAD for Apple 

 

Commercial Regulations Summary

Click the image for a summary of regulations for some snapper grouper species

 

Current Fishery Closures

Click the image for a summary of current fishery closures