2016 Lionfish Challenge and Panhandle Pilot Program

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Panhandle Pilot Program


  • May 14, 2016 through May 20, 2017 (Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day 2016-2017)


  • Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf and Franklin counties

How to Qualify (Watch a video on how to submit lionfish tails)

  • Harvest 100 or more lionfish
  • Bring tails to checkpoints in a plastic bag marked with name, date phone number (select dive shops and regional offices)
  • Print and fill out the FWC Lionfish Challenge Check-In Form Adobe PDF or fill out form at checkpoint

Resource-based Incentives (until all tags claimed)

  • For each 100 lionfish harvested, receive one tag to take either a legal-sized red grouper or a legal-sized cobia over bag limit from state waters
  • 100 red grouper tags available
  • 30 cobia tags available

Artificial reef naming

  • The first 10 persons or groups to harvest 500 or more lionfish will have an artificial reef named after them



Please check businesses for hours of operation

If you are a dive shop and would like to be a checkpoint or if you are a diver in need of additional assistance in locating a checkpoint, please call 850-487-0554..

(Watch a video on how to submit lionfish tails)

Click map for a pdf Adobe PDF

County Checkpoint name 
Bay Diver's Den - Panama City Beach
3120 Thomas Dr., Panama City Beach
Bay Panama City Diving 5512 Thomas Dr., Panama City Beach
Escambia Dive Pros

7203 W. Highway 98, Pensacola

Escambia Escambia County DMR 3363 W. Park Place, Pensacola    
Franklin FSU Coastal & Marine Laboratory - Panacea 3618 Coastal Hwy 98, St. Theresa 
Gulf Daly's Watersports 317 Monument Ave., Port St. Joe   
Okaloosa Discovery Dive World 92 S. John Sims Parkway, Valparaiso
Santa Rosa Bay Breeze Dive Center 49 Gulf Breeze Pkwy, Gulf Breeze
Wakulla Wakulla Diving Center 2784 Coastal Hwy, Crawfordville
Walton  South Walton Artificial Reef Association 26 Logan Lane, Suite G,  Santa Rosa Beach




Statewide Lionfish Challenge

The Statewide Lionfish Challenge started on Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day (May 14, 2016) and ended Sept. 30. 

For a list of participants and winners, check out the Lionfish Challenge Hall of Fame.

FWC Facts:
Some snook spend more time in fresh water than saltwater.

Learn More at AskFWC