Other Names: Brownie, Golden Grouper
Range & Habitat: Western Atlantic: Massachusetts, USA to southern Brazil, includes the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Snowy groupers can be found in the outer continental shelf of the South Atlantic Bight, which is characterized by ridges, terraces and precipitous cliffs. The species is distributed in the western Atlantic from Massachusetts to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico, the Lesser Antilles and the northern coast of Cuba.
Identification & Biology: Snowy Grouper are dark gray all over, the snowy groupers name de-rives from the obscure white spots arranged in a definite geometric pattern over the body. The coloration of this species varies with the size of the fish. Smaller fish are dark brown overall, punctuated with coin-size pearly white spots on the sides. A distinctive black, saddle-shaped blotch occurs on the caudal peduncle and extends down below the lateral line. Larger snowy groupers usually lose the white spots and caudal saddle and become dark brown with a slight coppery tint. The spiny portion of the dorsal fin has a black margin. It may reach 3 feet in length and weigh 30 pounds. This deep-water species may be found as deep as 800 feet.
Snowy grouper are protogynous hermaphrodites, spawning from May to June more than 2 million eggs. Fish are capable of reproducing when they are 4 or 5 years old, about 18 to 20 inches long. They may reach a maximum age of 17 years and a maximum weight of 70 pounds. The snowy grouper is territorial, like most groupers, and waits to ambush its prey.
Market Description: Like most groupers, it has a very lean white flaky flesh and is versatile in cooking. They are an excellent tasting fish.
Flavor Profile: Firm texture, large flake, moist meaty flavor
Fishing Technique: hook & line, long line
Special Note: Deep water grouper/ comes in small & large size
Suitable Sub: Scamp Grouper, Gag grouper, Red grouper
Sold as: Drawn, Filleted, whole-gutted.
Seasonable Availability: Year Round with peak seasons being Spring and Summer (March, April, May, June, July, August, September)