The intrusive lionfish took a significant hit this summertime: an overall of 16,609 lionfish were gotten rid of throughout the 4.5 month Lionfish Challenge, which ended Sept. 30.

” The success of this program actually reveals exactly what Florida’s locals and visitors can do when confronted with a preservation obstacle such as lionfish,” stated Brian Yablonski, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) chairman.
Lionfish are a nonnative types that were very first kept in mind in Florida waters in the mid-80s and have actually given that spread out up the Atlantic coast and throughout the Gulf of Mexico. There is no system for keeping lionfish populations under control other than for human elimination.

The Lionfish Challenge rewarded individuals who took 50 or more lionfish with a range of rewards consisting of a program T-shirt, a celebratory coin, the chance to take an extra spiny lobster each day throughout the two-day sport season and entry into raffle illustrations for rewards such as Neritic polespears, $100 dive tank refills and fishing licenses.
The competitors started on Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day, the very first Saturday after Mother’s Day (May 14, 2016).

Volusia County citizen David Garrett took the most lionfish with an overall of 3,324. John Dickinson can be found in 2nd with an overall of 2,408 lionfish eliminated.
” I desire the reefs to take advantage of this and to conserve our native fish,” stated David Garrett, who is an industrial angler.

Garrett will be formally crowned Lionfish King at the Nov. 16 Commission conference in St. Petersburg. He will likewise get a life time saltwater fishing license and be included on the cover of the January 2017 Saltwater Regulations Publication.
An overall of 95 individuals took part in the difficulty from throughout the state and the southeastern United States.

A last raffle illustration was held Sept. 26 and the winners consisted of:
Scott Stephens won a Neritic polespear.
Kevin Rogers won a $100 dive tank refill.
Robert Simpson won a Gold Sportsman’s License.
To see a list of other individuals and raffle winners, check out the Hall of Fame page at MyFWC.com/ Lionfish and click “Lionfish Challenge and Panhandle Pilot Program” and

“Hall of Fame.”

Didn’t have time to take part in the Lionfish Challenge however still wish to get rewarded? Take a look at the Panhandle Pilot Program listed below.
The FWC wishes to thank the 34 dive stores throughout Florida that supported this program by functioning as checkpoints. Shops situated in the Panhandle continue to take part in the Panhandle Pilot Program
Panhandle Pilot Program.
The Panhandle Pilot Program concentrates on lionfish elimination efforts off Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf and Franklin counties. For each 100 lionfish signed in from this seven-county area in between May 2016 and May 2017, the harvester will be qualified to get a tag enabling them to take either a red grouper or a cobia that is over the bag limitation from state waters (all other guidelines, consisting of seasons and size limitations, still use). The state will provide approximately an overall of 100 red grouper and 30 cobia tags to effective individuals in the pilot program. Up until now, 38 tags have actually been released.
In addition, the very first 10 individuals or groups that sign in 500 or more lionfish throughout this 1 year duration will be provided the chance to call a synthetic reef. 4 groups have actually certified to call a synthetic reef up until now, and 2 of the 4 have actually currently been called.
To get approved for this program, tails of any lionfish gathered should be given an authorized FWC checkpoint

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