Interested in removing lionfish? There’s still plenty of time to compete in this year’s Lionfish Challenge, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) statewide removal incentive program. The program started on Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day, May 20, and ends Sept. 4. Over 5,000 lionfish have been removed from Florida waters thanks to the program, including nearly 3,700 recreational fish removals and more than 1,200 pounds commercially (equates to about 1,400 fish).
The challenge rewards lionfish harvesters with prizes such as T-shirts, tumblers, heat packs for stings, pole spears, an extra spiny lobster per day during the two-day sport season, and much more. It only takes 25 lionfish (or 25 pounds commercially) to qualify for the program and the more lionfish you enter, the more prizes you will receive. Plus, all participants are entered into a raffle to win even more prizes such as Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium gift bags, ZombieStickz pole spears and customized ZooKeeper Lionfish Containment Units.
The persons with the most lionfish at the end of the competition will be crowned the Lionfish King or Queen (recreational category) and the Commercial Champion at the Lionfish Safari tournament in St. Petersburg the weekend of Sept. 9.
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.