Silky Snapper, Yellow-Eyed Snapper
Managed by: SAFMC
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 vey distinctive black spot at the base of the pectoral fin. Another red-colored sapper, the vermilion snapper, is distigished 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.
South Atlantic Federal Regulations
(For areas three-200 miles off the coasts of NC, SC, GA, and East Florida)
New! Effective May 10, 2012 the prohibition on harvest and retention of snowy grouper, blueline tilefish, yellowedge grouper, misty grouper, queen snapper, and silk snapper, beyond 240 feet (40-fathoms) in federal waters in the South Atlantic has been eliminated. See Fishery Bulletin. The Council requested removal of the restrictions in August 2011 through approval of Regulatory Amendment 11 to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan. All other commercial and recreational regulations apply.
Limited access permit required.
Note: Effective September 8, 2012 the commercial fishery for the Deepwater Complex (yellowedge grouper, blueline tilefish, silk snapper, misty grouper, queen snapper, sand tilefish, black snapper, and blackfin snapper) is closed. Commercial harvest of gray triggerfish also closes on that date. Effective September 11, 2012, the commercial fishery for the Porgy Complex (jolthead, knobbed, saucereye, whitebone and scup) and for
yellowtail snapper is closed. See the Fishery Bulletin for additional details. UPDATE 09/10/12 NOAA Fisheries has determined that the Commercial Yellowtail Snapper Fishery will NOT Close on 9/11/12. See Fishery Bulletin for details.
- 12" TL size limit.
- Included in the 10 snapper per person/day bag limit.
- Gear restrictions apply.