The 40-day Gulf of Mexico red snapper recreational harvest season begins Friday in state and federal waters. The last day of the 40-day season is July 10.
This year's state season was set in May at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission meeting.
Florida state waters in the Gulf extend from shore to 9 nautical miles; federal waters extend beyond that line to 200 nautical miles.
The Gulf red snapper stock is improving, but the population still more older fish for it to be sustainable, FWC officials said in a release.
Red snapper are estimated to live more than 50 years, but the current stock consists primarily of fish that are only a few years old. Older fish are the key to rebuilding the population because older female red snapper produce more eggs than younger females.
This short season will help rebuild the red snapper population, according to the FWC.