Gag grouper is a delicious fish with a mild flavor and firm, white flesh. It can be prepared in a variety of ways, including grilling, broiling, baking, and frying.
Snowy Grouper, also known as Snowy rockfish or Goldenblotch grouper, is a species of marine fish belonging to the family Serranidae. They are found in the western Atlantic Ocean from North Carolina to Florida, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea. Snowy grouper is an important commercial and recreational fishery species, valued for its firm, white flesh and mild taste.
Snowy grouper has an elongated and robust body with a broad head and a wide mouth. They have a pale white to light brown body with irregular, golden-brown blotches, which are more prominent on the dorsal side. The fins are often tinged with yellow or orange, and the caudal fin has a black margin. They can grow up to 3 feet in length and weigh up to 70 pounds.
Snowy grouper is a demersal species that inhabits rocky and coral reefs in the western Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea. They prefer depths between 200 and 1,200 feet, although they can be found in shallower waters during their juvenile stage.
Fishing and Seasonality
Snowy grouper is primarily caught by hook and line, using baits such as squid, fish, and crustaceans. The fishery is highly regulated, with strict bag and size limits, and the use of specific gear restrictions. The seasonality of the fishery varies depending on the region, with peak harvest times typically occurring in the fall and winter.
Snowy grouper is highly valued for its firm, white flesh, which has a mild and slightly sweet taste. It is typically prepared by grilling, baking, or frying, and is often served in restaurants and seafood markets.
Due to its popularity as a food fish and susceptibility to overfishing, the Snowy grouper fishery is highly regulated. The National Marine Fisheries Service has established strict catch limits, size restrictions, and gear regulations to help maintain sustainable populations. Additionally, the Snowy grouper is listed as a species of concern by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) due to its vulnerability to overfishing and habitat degradation.