South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

Grouper, Warsaw

Grouper, Warsaw

Grouper, Warsaw

Hyporthodus nigritus
Recreational
All areas are closed for recreational fishing.
Commercial
All areas are closed for commercial fishing.

The warsaw grouper is the only member of the genus Epinephelous that has 10 dorsal spines, the second of which is much longer than the third. The color is a grayish brown to dark reddish-brown background with numerous small, irregular white blotches on the sides. The color appears much lighter around the nape and along the posterior margin of the operculum. All of the fins are dark brown, except the white-splotched spiny portion of the dorsal fin. The young are characterized by a yellow caudal fin; dark saddle on caudal peduncle; and some whitish spots on body.

The warsaw grouper has a wider distribution along the southern United States than the other large grouper, the goliath grouper ( E. itajara). Warsaw range from North Carolina to the Florida Keys and throughout much of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico to the northern coast of South America. The species inhabits irregular bottom, notches, valleys, and drop-offs, occuring in the continental shelf break in waters 350 to 650 feet deep. Other species inhabiting this productive deep-water zone are snowy and yellowedge groupers, tilefish, and silk snappers. Warsaw are long-lived, reaching up to 6 feet and over 300 pounds. The warsaw’s huge mouth enables it to engulf prey whole.

Regulations

NC, SC, GA, FL

  • Season is currently closed.
  • Notes: Closed to possession or harvest

    A descending device is required on board all vessels fishing for or possessing snapper and grouper species in federal waters of the South Atlantic. The descending device must be readily available for use and attached to at least 16 ounces of weight and at least 60 feet of line. Get more information at Best Fishing Practices Webpage

    For more information, see: SAFMC Warsaw Grouper Regulations

  • Gear Description: Allowable gear includes vertical hook-and-line, including hand line and bandit gear, and spearfishing gear without rebreathers. When fishing for or possessing snapper grouper species in federal waters of the South Atlantic, the following regulations apply: (1) Use of a dehooking tool is required. (2) The use of non-stainless steel hooks is required when using hook-and-line gear with natural baits. In waters North of 28-degrees N. latitude, the use of non-offset, non-stainless steel circle hooks is required when fishing for snapper grouper species using hook-and-line gear with natural baits. (3) A descending device is required on board all vessels and must be readily available for use (attached to at least 16 ounces of weight and at least 60 feet of line). See below for more details.

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