TALLAHASSEE -- Recreational anglers and state-licensed charter boats in the Gulf get an extra three weekends to fish for red snapper this year.
The state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) says they'll get to try their luck on these dates: Oct. 12-13, 19-20, and 26-27
FWC says its Gulf Reef Fish Survey showed the red snapper population could withstand three more weekends of fishing.
Anyone fishing from a private vessel must sign up as a Gulf Reef Fish Angler at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com or at any location that sells fishing licenses. That includes the survey that helps the state monitor fish populations.
Amanda Nalley with FWC says it's the first time in a while that red snapper fishing has been open in the fall.
"We are managed under a quota. There's a certain number of pounds that can be taken per year and we need to make sure we don't go over that quota," Nalley said.
Florida recently took over management of red snapper populations from the federal government. The season applies to both state and federal waters, but only to charter boats if their operation is licenses by the state.