South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

Snapper, Silk

Snapper, Silk

Snapper, Silk

Lutjanus vivanus, Yelloweye Snapper
Recreational
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
Commercial
All areas are open for commercial fishing.

The yellow iris identifies the silk snapper from its close relatives, the red snapper and the blackfin snapper, both of which possess a red iris. The blackfin also has a very distinctive black spot at the base of the pectoral fin. Another red-colored snapper, the vermilion snapper, is distinguished by its more streamlined body and deeply forked tail. The body of the silk snapper is red overall, darker above and lighter below with fine wavy longitudinal yellow lines. The caudal fin has a dusky margin.

The species commonly occurs in the western Atlantic from northern South America to North Carolina. It is found in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean as well as around Bermuda. Off Bermuda, the species is common at depths of 400-500 feet during the day, and shallower waters at night. In the Bahamas, it is caught by the Gulf Stream in waters 500-800 feet deep and in the Carolinas in 200-400 feet deep. In studies, the smallest sexually mature silk snappers were a 9-inch female and an 11-inch male. Spawning occurs from late spring through the summer. The silk snapper feeds on crabs, shrimp and fishes.

Regulations

NC, SC, GA, FL

  • Season is currently open.
  • 10 Aggregate Limit
  • 10 Bag Limit
  • Notes: 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

    No minimum size limit effective March 30, 2020. For more information: Learn about new regulations for other snapper grouper species, effective March 30, 2020.

    If you are bringing fish back to the U.S. from the Bahamas by water, please see Bringing fish back from the Bahamas.

    ———- Federally Permitted Charter/Headboats:

    -If a federally permitted vessel fishing in federal waters catches a species that is closed to harvest in federal waters, the vessel is not allowed to retain that fish.

    -If a federally permitted vessel fishing in state waters catches a species that is closed to harvest in federal waters but open in state waters, the vessel is not allowed to retain that species.

    -If a federally permitted vessel fishing in federal waters catches a species that is closed to harvest in state waters but open to harvest in federal waters, they may retain that fish if they do not stop to fish in state waters when returning to port. All gear must be stowed.

    For more information, see: Silk Snapper Regulations

    To see commercial regulations, download Fish Rules Commercial App for iOS devices or Android devices.

  • 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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