Red Snapper


Family Lutjanidae, SNAPPERS

Lutjanus campechanus

Illustration © Diane Rome Peebles

Illustration provided for viewing purposes only

Description: color pinkish red over entire body, whitish below; long triangular snout; anal fin sharply pointed; no dark lateral spot; red eye

Similar fish: silk snapper, L. vivanus

Where found: offshore on the continental shelf, more plentiful off Texas and the Florida Panhandle than in south or middle Florida.

Remarks: juveniles occur over sandy or mud bottoms and are often taken in shrimp trawls; adults may live more than 20 years, and attain 35 pounds or more; sexual maturity attained at age 2; spawns June to October; feeds on crustaceans and fish

Possession and Size Limits: Two fish per person, 16” TL size limit. Captain and crew prohibited from retaining a bag limit while under charter.

Federal Recreational Season: Opens June 1 - closure dependent upon landings projections and is usually announced in early April.

Stock Status: According to a 2009 SEDAR 7 Stock Assessment Update, red snapper are overfished, but not experiencing overfishingA benchmark assessment of red snapper is expected to be completed during the summer of 2013 - SEDAR 31A red snapper rebuilding plan is in place, with a rebuilding target of 2032.

NOTICE:  The Regional Administrator is authorized to close the recreational red snapper fishery if the allocation is met or projected to be met. The Regional Administrator may also reopen the season if necessary, to assure allocation can be reached.