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October 25, 2001

Silk Snapper

Q: I caught this yellow-eyed snapper in 850 feet of water off Great Isaac's Bank in the Bahamas. Do you have any information on this fish? - Tom Bovier, Boca Raton, FloridaA: It looks like you caught a silk snapper (Lutjanus vivanus) with its distinctive, bright yellow iris. Silk snapper live from North Carolina to Brazil, including the Bahamas, along rocky ledges in 300 to 800-plus feet of water. Silks are entirely pinkish-red, shading to whitish below.

Q: I caught this yellow-eyed snapper in 850 feet of water off Great Isaac's Bank in the Bahamas. Do you have any information on this fish? - Tom Bovier, Boca Raton, Florida

A: It looks like you caught a silk snapper (Lutjanus vivanus) with its distinctive, bright yellow iris. Silk snapper live from North Carolina to Brazil, including the Bahamas, along rocky ledges in 300 to 800-plus feet of water. Silks are entirely pinkish-red, shading to whitish below. When young, they show a dark, smudged spot on the lateral line below the soft dorsal fin, but this disappears when they're about 1 foot long. Silk snapper (marketed as "red snapper") grow to about 30 inches in length. The true red snapper, L. campechanus, has red eyes and grows to about 36 inches.