Defining Characteristics & Behavior:
The Common snook is a sizeable predatory saltwater fish sometimes found in brackish waters. They are olive-green to grayish-brown on the back and silver on the sides, with an elongated body and sloping forehead featuring a protruding lower jaw filled with sharp teeth. Another identifier is the black lateral line that extends from the gill plate to the slightly concaved tail. Snook are predominantly nocturnal and feed on small fish, crustaceans, and shrimp.
Geographic Range and Habitat Preferences:
- Found in the Western Atlantic Ocean from the Gulf of Mexico to Brazil
- Inhabits estuaries, mangroves, seagrass beds, and nearshore waters with structures
- Juveniles tend to stay in brackish waters while adults prefer the open ocean
- Females can grow up to 48 inches in length while males typically reach 30 inches
- Snook can live up to 20 years but the average lifespan is around 10 years
- Spawning occurs in the summer months in offshore waters and females can produce up to 2 million eggs
- Juveniles stay in estuaries until they are around 2 years old before moving into the open ocean
- The Common Snook is also known as the Sergeant Fish due to the stripes on its sides that resemble a military uniform.
- Snook are highly sought after by recreational fishermen and are known for their delicate, white flesh.
- They are powerful swimmers, reaching speeds of up to 24 miles per hour.