Fla. Lionfish Removal Effort Reaches 12,000-Plus

Fla. Lionfish Removal Effort Reaches 12,000-Plus
Florida has been targeting invasive lionfish to be removed from state waters. (Photo courtesy of Florida Fish and Wildlife)

As another successful Lionfish Removal and Awareness weekend wrapped up in Florida, a new Lionfish Challenge began.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission news release

Residents and visitors across Florida enjoyed another weekend of learning about and helping remove lionfish as they participated in events during the third annual Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day, May 20 (first Saturday after Mother's Day).

Lionfish are a nonnative, invasive species that have a potential negative impact on native species and habitat. (Photo courtesy of Florida Fish and Wildlife)


More than 4,000 people attended the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) two-day festival in Pensacola, where visitors got to taste lionfish prepared by celebrity chefs, watch fillet demonstrations, participate in family-friendly games, visit art and conservation booths and much more.


Despite three statewide tournaments being cancelled due to weather, over 12,000 lionfish were removed from Florida waters, including 3,868 lionfish that were removed during two days of rough weather from the Pensacola-based Lionfish World Championship.

"Those that are passionate about removing lionfish from Florida waters really showed their dedication this weekend," said Jessica McCawley, director of FWC's Division of Marine Fisheries Management. "The weather was not ideal, and yet the festivals were still busy with people excited to learn about and taste lionfish. We always want to encourage safety first and foremost, and we're glad everyone was able to safely travel offshore to remove a significant number of lionfish."

The Lionfish Challenge, a removal incentive program, also started May 20, and runs through Sept. 4. Nearly 150 people have already registered to participate in the statewide Challenge, which rewards lionfish harvesters with prizes such as T-shirts, tumblers, pole spears, an extra spiny lobster per day during the two-day sport season, and much more.

Think you have what it takes to be crowned the next Lionfish King/Queen or Commercial Champion? Sign up and learn more today by visiting MyFWC.com/Lionfish.


Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day was created by FWC Commissioners to raise awareness about lionfish — a nonnative, invasive species that have a potential negative impact on native species and habitat.

Florida's Lionfish Challenge, a removal incentive program, started May 20 and runs through Sept. 4. (Image courtesy of Florida Fish and Wildlife)

The FWC thanks all of the sponsors and organizations across the state that helped make this Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day event a success.


Remember, lionfish and other exotic pets that can no longer be cared for should never be released into Florida waters or lands. To learn more about where to surrender an exotic pet for adoption, visit MyFWC.com/WildlifeHabitats and click on "Nonnative Species" and "Exotic Pet Amnesty Program."

Statewide Lionfish Events Removal Totals

  • 3,868 — Lionfish World Championship — Pensacola (plus 150 submitted late).
  • 2,175 — Lionfish World Championship Pre-Tournament — Pensacola.
  • 4,618 — Northeast Florida Lionfish Blast — Jacksonville (monthlong event).
  • 929 — Lion Tamer Tournament — Panama City Beach (plus another 354 removed prior to the event).
  • 72 - Force-E Scuba Centers Lionfish Removal Day  — Pompano.

How to Filet a Lionfish

https://youtu.be/vqAhXceCYUk

Via Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission YouTube


Other Lionfish info: 

Facebook:

Website:

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Bowfishing from the Bank (Video)

Bowfishing from the Bank (Video)

There aren't many better ways to spend a summer night than skewering fish in the shallows.

Hobie Pro Angler 14 With 360 drive

Hobie Pro Angler 14 With 360 drive

Human-powered serious fishing kayak; ICAST Fishing Gear Guide.

Simms Flyweight Wader

Simms Flyweight Wader

Constructed of three different kinds of Gore-Tex fabric, the Simms Flyweight Wader is durable, breathable, and features stretch in key areas of movement and stress that happen during a day of wade fishing out on a fast flowing trout stream.

Make Your Own Tackle Box with Plano Edge Flex

Make Your Own Tackle Box with Plano Edge Flex

Plano's Charlie Davis and In-Fisherman's Rob Neumann talk about the new Plano Edge Flex as part of the 2020 ICAST New Fishing Gear Guide.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use bait rigs for stripers. Striper & Hybrid

3 Deadly Bait Rigs For Stripers

J.B. Kasper

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use bait rigs for stripers.

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews of smelly ingredients often used to catch catfish. Catfish

How To Make Your Own Catfish Dough Bait

Keith Sutton - August 04, 2015

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews...

From jigs to swimbaits, there are lots of great new choices unveiled at virtual fishing trade show. ICAST

New Freshwater Soft Lures from ICAST 2020

Game & Fish Staff - July 20, 2020

From jigs to swimbaits, there are lots of great new choices unveiled at virtual fishing trade...

If you haven't looked at the smaller urban lakes in your area, you are missing out on some great bass pond fishing. Bass

Bass Pond Fishing: Catch Lunkers at Small Lakes Near You

Dan Anderson

If you haven't looked at the smaller urban lakes in your area, you are missing out on some...

See More Trending Articles

More Saltwater

After lasting 34 years, record falls again 3 weeks later. Records

Mahi-Mahi Record in Maryland Falls Again

G&F Online Staff - August 21, 2019

After lasting 34 years, record falls again 3 weeks later.

From striped bass to giant speckled trout and largemouths, these two southern destinations offer a variety of family fishing opportunities. Playbook

Destinations: Fishing Fun in the Southern Sun

John N. Felsher - July 24, 2020

From striped bass to giant speckled trout and largemouths, these two southern destinations...

Visit the under-pressured islands of Bimini for great flats action. Fishing

Bucket List: Bonefishing the Bimini Flats

Larry Larsen - January 30, 2020

Visit the under-pressured islands of Bimini for great flats action.

Summertime is a great time to be on the beach — catching fish. Saltwater

Surf's Up: Catch Fish While on Vacation

Mike Marsh - July 25, 2019

Summertime is a great time to be on the beach — catching fish.

See More Saltwater

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now