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    Lane snapper, Lutjanus synagris

    In Florida waters, lane snapper are found over a variety of bottom types, including reefs,
    rocky outcrops, shipwrecks, smooth bottom in association with seagrass, and mangrove prop
    roots. The species ranges from northern Florida south throughout the Gulf of Mexico and
    Caribbean south to southeastern Brazil. Spawning occurs from March through September; peak
    spawning activity occurs during June–August (Manooch 1984). Both sexes mature at age 1 or as
    small as 5.9 inches total length (TL). Lane snapper have been aged to 10 years on the Atlantic
    coast of Florida (Manooch and Mason 1984) and to 17 years in the northern Gulf of Mexico
    (Johnson et al. 1995). Lengths at age are larger in the northern gulf through about age 10; males
    were generally larger than females, at least through age 9 (Table 1).

    Total annual landings of lane snapper in Florida during 2005 were 300,008 pounds. The
    recreational fishery made 93 % of the statewide landings in 2005. Landings were greater on the
    gulf coast, where about 69% of the statewide landings were made. Commercial landings of lane
    snapper were highest in Dade and Palm Beach Counties on the Atlantic coast (Fig. 1). The
    greatest recreational landings of lane snapper were in the southwest region of Florida from Levy
    to Collier Counties during 2005 (Fig. 2). The 2005 total landings of lane snapper were 1.5%
    lower than the average landings in the previous five years (2000-2004) and were 18% lower than
    the 1982-2005 historical average landings (Fig 3). Total annual landings of lane snapper have
    been small but gradually increasing on the Atlantic coast since 1991 (Fig. 3). In the 1990s, total
    Florida Fish and Wildlife Conserv. Comm., FWRI (2006) LANE SNAPPER - 2
    gulf coast landings peaked at about 639,000 pounds in 1991 then dropped to 163,000 pounds in
    1996, peaked again in 1997 and dropped to 113,000 pounds in 2000. Since 2001 landings have
    averaged 216,000 pounds.
    Commercial catch rates on the Atlantic coast peaked in 1994 then declined, increased
    again from 1997-2001 then have decreased since then (Fig. 4). Gulf coast catch rates for the
    commercial fishery were relatively stable until 1998, increased steadily to 2002, then decreased
    through 2005 (Fig. 5). Atlantic coast recreational angler catch rates, which have shown higher
    values since 1997, have been quite variable on the Atlantic coast (Fig. 6). Recreational catch
    rates on the gulf coast show an increasingly strong decline through 2003, and have since
    rebounded slightly (Fig. 7).
    Fishery-independent-monitoring data show strong young-of-the-year (YOY) recruitment
    occurring in 1994, 1999, 2002, and 2004 on the gulf coast (Fig. 8). Too few YOY were collected
    on the Atlantic coast to determine trends. For post-YOY fish, there appeared to be a cyclical
    pattern on the Atlantic coast with a low in 1999 and a high in 2003 (Fig. 9). Abundances of post-
    YOY on the gulf coast were rather low to discern any clear trends (Fig. 10). No incidences of
    gross external abnormalities were noted in lane snapper from 1999 to 2005.
    The Snapper-Grouper Assessment Panel of the South Atlantic Fishery Management
    Council found that there were insufficient data to evaluate the condition of the stocks
    quantitatively and assumed that the stocks were not overfished nor undergoing overfishing.
    Yield-per-recruit analyses of lane snapper in Puerto Rico showed that yield increased as the
    length-at-capture was increased to about 7.9 inches fork length (FL) and when the instantaneous
    fishing mortality (F) was higher than 0.5 per year (Acosta and Appeldoorn 1992). The fishery in
    Puerto Rico was harvesting 91% of the potential yield with an age at entry to the fishery that
    corresponded to 9.8 inches FL and an F of 1.13 per year. Estimated fishing mortality in the
    northern Gulf of Mexico during 1991–1994 was one to three times that of lane snapper’s likely
    natural mortality rate (Johnson et al. 1995). This would suggest that lane snapper were being
    overfished at that time. No detailed assessment of the condition of lane snapper is available at
    this time. The 8-inch minimum size limit for lane snapper was implemented in February 1990.
Download complete report
(including figures)
Status and Trends 2007 Report
Florida’s Inshore and Nearshore Species
by Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
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