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Who will be the next Lionfish Challenge winners? Find out Sept. 9

News Release

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Media contact: Amanda Nalley, 850-410-4943 or

There’s still time to remove lionfish and win prizes by participating in the 2017 Lionfish Challenge. The statewide lionfish removal incentive program will come to a close Sept. 4. The winners, also known as the Lionfish King/Queen (recreational category) and the Commercial Champion, will be crowned at the Lionfish Safari in St. Petersburg at 4 p.m. Sept. 9. Join Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) staff along with Lionfish Safari organizer Reef Monitoring, as we celebrate these amazing lionfish hunters at the North Straub Park, 400 Bay Shore Drive NE.


Scott Noyes of Sarasota County used his ZooKeeper Lionfish Containment Unit to collect these lionfish for the Lionfish Challenge. Photo courtesy of Scott Noyes.

Competition is fierce. The 100 recreational and commercial participants have removed more than 12,300 lionfish so far (just over 6,000 recreationally and just under 6,000 commercially) and have received prizes ranging from T-shirts, tumblers and heat packs to ZombieStickz Lionfish Eliminator and Neritic pole spears, Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium gift bags and ZooKeeper Lionfish Containment Units. Lionfish Challenge winners will be given a custom-made FishBone Design trophy and a No Shoes Reefs limited edition Engel 85 cooler.

Julie Cage Lionfish

Julie Cage of Volusia County submitted her 25 qualifying lionfish June 16. Photo courtesy of Julie Cage.

The FWC’s Lionfish Challenge started on Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day, May 20.

To enter, participants register online at and submit their harvest of 25 lionfish (or 25 pounds commercially).

The more lionfish you enter, the more prizes you will receive.

Planson Lionfish

Debbie Planson of Volusia County submitted her 25 qualifying lionfish July 2. Photo courtesy of Debbie Planson.

Think you have what it takes to be crowned the next Lionfish King/Queen or Commercial Champion? Sign up and learn more today at

Learn more about the Lionfish Safari External Website at by scrolling over “Event Page” and clicking on “Lionfish Safari.”

Also, be sure to check out the new and improved Reef Rangers website at, External Website which will be launched Sept. 5.


This year’s Lionfish Challenge shirt.




(Flickr) External Website  

FWC Facts:
Seagrasses are flowering plants that live submerged in marine waters. Like land plants, seagrasses manufacture food and oxygen through the process of photosynthesis.

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