Marine - Species - Atlantic Spadefish

Recreational Fishery in SC

Atlantic Spadefish Recreational Fishery Graph

Annual total catch for spadefish was variable with catch levels staying within one standard deviation of the long term average for most years. There was an exceptionally high year in 1983, otherwise peaks in catch occurred approximately every 5 years or so. There was an overall decline in recent years beginning in 2001. The percent standard error (PSE), which is a measure of uncertainty in the expanded catch estimates, was high during 1983, indicating the high number that year has some reliability issues.

Atlantic spadefish have only been reported commercially in one year (1979) in South Carolina since 1950. Spadefish have no size regulations but are managed under the 20 fish aggregate bag limit as part of the snapper/grouper complex. The only states with any commercial fishing for spadefish in the southeast occur in North Carolina and the east coast of Florida.

The recreational catch data is provided by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), which conducts phone and angler-intercept surveys to monitor angler activities and catches. For more information see:

The commercial fisheries data is provided by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), which compiles commercial information provided by state agencies. For more information, see:

Additional Graph Information

Commercial and recreational catches are measured in number of individuals or pounds of fish caught. Changes in catch among years may be the result of changes in abundance, fishing effort, or a combination of the two.

On each graph, the horizontal dotted lines above or below the "10 year average" represent one "standard deviation" unit, which is a measure of how variable the annual data are around the 10-year average. In general, the area between one standard deviation above the mean and one standard deviation below the mean includes approximately 68% of all values. Approximately 95% of observations in the data set are found within two standard deviation units of the average and is referred to as the prediction interval.