“I want to extend my personal thanks to each and every person who has taken the Lionfish Challenge,” said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Chairman Rodney Barreto. “It is my belief that your efforts do a great deal in helping control this nonnative predator’s population, ensuring that our native wildlife is protected.”
As of this week:
- 362 people have registered.
- 69 people have submitted lionfish (64 recreational, five commercial).
- 3,446 lionfish submitted.
- 50 checkpoints for recreational participant submissions.
Recent Raffle Winners
- Toadfish Non-Tipping Can Cooler
- Helen Rodney
- France Mer
Upcoming Raffle Drawings
- July 7 – four winners
- Aug. 4 – four winners
- Sept. 1 – two winners
- All qualified participants (submission of 25 lionfish or 25 pounds for commercial) will be entered into drawing.
Spiny Lobster Incentive
Did you know there is a spiny lobster resource incentive for the 2021 Lionfish Challenge? By harvesting and submitting 25 lionfish (or 25 pounds commercial) before spiny lobster mini season (July 28-29), you may use your 2021 Challenge coin to harvest one additional lobster per day! You must have your 2021 Challenge coin in your possession to harvest lobster over the bag limit. Learn more about spiny lobster regulations at MyFWC.com/Marine and clicking on “Recreational Regulations.”
Sign up and learn more today by visiting FWCReefRangers.com.
Support Florida lionfish control programs by purchasing our new Rep Your Water lionfish hats at the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida.
Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans)
Also known as the zebrafish is a venomous coral reef fish in the family Scorpaenidae, order Scorpaeniformes. It is mainly native to the Indo-Pacific region, but has become an invasive species in the Caribbean Sea, as well as along the East Coast of the United States and East Mediterranean.
P. volitans and a similar relative, Pterois miles, have both been deemed invasive species. Red lionfish are clad in white stripes alternated with red/maroon/brown stripes. Adults in this species can grow as large as 47 cm (18.5 in) in length, making it one of the largest species of lionfish in the ocean, while juveniles are typically shorter than 1 inch (2.5 cm). The average red lionfish lives around 10 years. As with many species within the family Scopaenidae, it has large, venomous spines that protrude from the body, similar to a mane, giving it the common name lionfish. The venomous spines make the fish inedible or deter most potential predators. Lionfish reproduce monthly and are able to quickly disperse during their larval stage for expansion of their invasive region. No definitive predators of the lionfish are known, and many organizations are promoting the harvest and consumption of lionfish in efforts to prevent further increases in the already high population densities.
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