Prizes, Awards Remain With 2016 Lionfish Challenge In Full Swing Across Florida

By  //  June 12, 2016

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divers have entered 4,338 lionfish statewide

ABOVE VIDEO: This video shows how to submit lionfish tails for credit in the 2016 Lionfish Challenge. ( FWC Saltwater Fishing video)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Interested in removing lionfish from Florida waters? Participate in the 2016 Lionfish Challenge or the Panhandle Pilot Program reward programs.

You could be the next winner of a Neritic polespear like Richard “Tott” Thomas, a Zookeeper lionfish containment unit like Alex Page or a $100 dive tank refill like Brian Belzer, our most recent Lionfish Challenge winners.

Since the kick-off on May 14, 29 divers have entered 4,338 lionfish in the statewide Lionfish Challenge, which rewards those who remove 50 or more lionfish from waters across the state.

Nineteen of those qualified for the Panhandle Pilot Program, which rewards divers for every 100 lionfish removed from Escambia through Franklin counties, where lionfish densities tend to be higher.

CLICK HERE to learn how the program works or online at MyFWC.com/Lionfish.

Lionfish Challenge

Remove 50 or more lionfish between Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day beginning on May 14 and the end of September to enter the Lionfish Challenge.

Rewards include a commemorative coin to mark membership, an event T-shirt, Lionfish Hall of Fame recognition on the MyFWC.com website and you are entered in drawings to win prizes including fishing licenses, lionfish harvesting equipment, fuel cards and dive tank refills.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Josh Falkner, Grayson Shepard, Alex Fogg and Andy Ross (Capt of Niuhi Dive Charters). This team and more collected 515 lionfish in April off the Empire Mica, 22 miles south of Cape San Blas. (Florida Fish and Wildlife image)

LEFT TO RIGHT: Josh Falkner, Grayson Shepard, Alex Fogg and Andy Ross (Capt of Niuhi Dive Charters). This team and more collected 515 lionfish. (Florida Fish and Wildlife image)

If you’re qualified before the relevant harvest season starts, you will have the opportunity to take an additional spiny lobster per day during the 2016 mini-season (July 27-28).

The person who “checks in” the most lionfish will be crowned Florida’s Lionfish King or Queen and will receive a lifetime saltwater fishing license, have his or her photograph featured on the cover of the FWC’s January 2017 Saltwater Regulations publication, be prominently featured on MyFWC.com’s Lionfish Hall of Fame, and be recognized at the November 2016 FWC Commission meeting.

How to Enter

Email photos of your first 50 qualifying lionfish to Lionfish@MyFWC.com and include the name of the harvester, the date harvested and your signature in the photo (written on a piece of paper next to the fish for example) and your mailing address in the email. You can also submit your first 50 at an FWC approved checkpoint.

Record Numbers Of Invasive Lionfish Removed From Florida Waters During FWC EventRelated Story:
Record Numbers Of Invasive Lionfish Removed From Florida Waters During FWC Event

All tails in excess of the initial 50 must be brought to an FWC approved checkpoint (see list at MyFWC.com/Lionfish by CLICKING HERE.

In Brevard County you can check in at Hatts Diving Headquarters located at 2006 Front Street, in Melbourne.

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ABOVE MAP: In Brevard County you can check in at Hatts Diving Headquarters located at 2006 Front Street, in Melbourne.

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