Only the second season in four years for harvesting snook from Florida Keys waters opens Saturday.
The state season, limited to recreational anglers who have snook endorsement on their saltwater fishing license, closes April 30.
Snook in the Keys are considered part of the Gulf of Mexico species stock, which allows just one legal-size fish to be harvested daily. Selling or buying snook, one of the state's premier saltwater-fishing species, has been illegal for decades.
Snook taken in Keys or Everglades National Park waters during the open season must measure "not less than 28 or more than 33 inches total length, measured from the most forward point of the head with the mouth closed to the farthest tip of the tail with the tail compressed ... while the fish is lying on its side," according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Most Keys anglers and fishing guides release all snook they catch.
After a January 2010 cold snap killed untold numbers of snook, harvesting snook from the Gulf stock was banned until last September's short fall season.
A hard-fighting fish that can weigh more than 30 pounds, snook are highly sensitive to weather extremes. They become sluggish in cold water, which renders them more vulnerable to other predator fish and humans.
Snook can be caught from shore, and even can be found in fresh water.