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Lionfish Challenge 2018

Lionfish Challenge

Timeline 

  • Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day (May 19, 2018) through Labor Day (Sept. 3, 2018)

Location

  • Statewide

How to Participate

  • Participants compete in either the recreational or commercial category, but may only qualify for one category. All participants who have an active Saltwater Products License and who have commercial lionfish sales within the past year will automatically be included in the commercial category.
  • Complete the Registration Form.

Recreational Category

  • Harvest and submit first 25 lionfish via photo to Lionfish@MyFWC.com.
    • Photo requirement: Lionfish must be easy to count and include name, date of harvest and signature.
  • Submit tails (after first 25) to checkpoints located statewide (select dive shops and regional offices). Interested in participating as a checkpoint location? Contact Lionfish@MyFWC.com for details.
    • Tail submission requirements: Remove tails and place in plastic bag(s). Label bag(s) with harvester name, phone number, date of harvest and number of tails.
    • Complete the 2018 FWC Lionfish Challenge Submission Form and bring tails and form to checkpoint for verification of harvest.
    • Send a copy of submission form to Lionfish@MyFWC.com.

Commercial Category

  • Send photo/copy of electronic trip tickets to Lionfish@MyFWC.com.
    • Trip ticket requirement: Amount of lionfish harvested (lbs.), harvester name, date of harvest and signature.

Additional Rules and Harvester Instructions.

Reward

  • All qualified participants that submit 25 lionfish (recreational) or 25 lbs. (commercial) will receive a 2018 Lionfish Challenge t-shirt, commemorative coin and entry into the FWC Lionfish Hall of Fame.
    • Resource based incentive: The 2018 commemorative coin is valid for 1 spiny lobster per person, per day in addition to the daily bag limit during the 2018 sport season (July 25-26) only.
  • Tiered prizes for additional lionfish submitted:
    • 75 lionfish (150 lbs. commercial): customized neck gaiter and reusable heat pack for stings
    • 150 lionfish (300 lbs. commercial): customized beach towel and Engel tumbler
    • 250 lionfish (600 lbs. commercial): Neritic or ZombieStickz polespear, grip kit and TurtleSkin puncture-resistant gloves
    • 400 lionfish (1,200 lbs. commercial): customized ZooKeeper Lionfish Containment Unit
  • Raffle drawings every 2 weeks for all qualified participants. Prizes donated by sponsors: Lionator PolespearsDive RiteNarked Scuba, Customatic Optics, Toothless Life, and Florida Underwater Sports. All winners also receive color-dive lenses from Customatic Optics.
    • June 13
      • 4' JBL polespear and paralyzer tip: Rachel Bowman
      • Dive Rite surface marker tube: Tim Speakman
      • IANTD Enriched Air Diver class: Michael Echevarria
      • Customized Reef Rangers YETI tumbler (2 available): Heidi Thoricht, Steve Houghland
    • June 27
      • 4' JBL polespear and paralyzer tip: Jeffrey Pacha
      • Lionator polespear, shirt and shears: Ron Childs
      • Dive Rite surface marker tube: Rayce Boyd
      • Customized Reef Rangers YETI tumbler (2 available): Carol Cox, Tony Bebb
    • July 11
      • 4' JBL polespear and paralyzer tip: Ken Ayers, Jr.
      • Lionator polespear, shirt and shears: Robert Woods
      • Dive Rite surface marker tube: Jane Corliss
      • Customized Reef Rangers YETI tumbler (2 available): April Tracy, Isidoro Bedoya
    • July 25
      • 4' JBL polespear and paralyzer tip: Mark Eglington
      • Dive Rite surface marker tube: Ron Surrency
      • IANTD Enriched Air Diver class: Scott Skrien
      • Customized Reef Rangers YETI tumbler (2 available): Teresa Hattaway, Christian Mathisen
    • August 8
      • 4' JBL polespear and paralyzer tip: Curt Matthews
      • Surface marker tube: Donnie Delgado
      • Customized Reef Rangers YETI tumbler (2 available): Matt Finn, Debbie Planson
      • Lion Lift by Toothless Life: Randall Gibson
    • August 22
      • 4' JBL polespear and paralyzer tip: Russell Carlisle
      • IANTD Enriched Air Diver class: David Haynes, John Pendergrast
      • Customized Reef Rangers YETI tumbler (2 available): Deborah Durrance, Jean Gibson
      • Lion Lift and East Coast Lift Kit by Toothless Life (2 available): Nikkie Cox, Larry Golden

Lionfish King/Queen: Most lionfish by number submitted by recreational harvester

  • Lionfish King/Queen trophy
  • Feature article in recreational Saltwater Regulations publication
  • $500 gift card for scuba tank air fills
  • Customized Engel 65-quart Cooler

2nd place Lionfish King/Queen

3rd place Lionfish King/Queen

  • Customized Engel 65-quart Cooler

Commercial Champion: Most lionfish by weight submitted by commercial harvester

  • Commercial Champion trophy
  • Feature article in recreational Saltwater Regulations publication
  • $500 gift card for scuba tank air fills
  • Customized Engel 65-quart Cooler

2nd place Commercial Champion

3rd place Commercial Champion

  • Customized Engel 65-quart Cooler

Additional 2018 Lionfish Challenge Rules and Harvester Instructions.

Tagged-Lionfish Category

Timeline 

  • Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day (May 19, 2018) through Labor Day (Sept. 3, 2018)

Location

  • Statewide

How to Participate

  • Lionfish will be tagged with an external dart tag at 50 public artificial reef sites between the depths of 80' - 120'. The reefs were randomly-selected and will not be disclosed to the public. Participants will have access to the reef locations at ReefRangers.com and the FWC Artificial Reefs website.
  • Complete the Registration Form.
  • Harvest lionfish in hopes of removing an FWC-tagged lionfish!

Submission Requirements

  • Participants that harvest an FWC-tagged lionfish must submit a clear photo of the lionfish and tag and include documentation of the harvester name, tag identification number, GPS coordinates of harvest location and date harvested to Lionfish@MyFWC.com.

Reward

Read more about the tagging program in the summary document.

Registration Form

All participants must complete the 2018 Lionfish Challenge Registration Form prior to submitting lionfish to the program.

 

 

 

Checkpoints

  • Purpose: Recreational harvesters must remove lionfish tails, place in plastic bag(s), complete the FWC Lionfish Challenge Submission Form and bring to local checkpoint for verification of harvest. Checkpoints will retain tails and send a copy of the form to Lionfish@MyFWC.com for harvest submission.
  • Interested in participating as a 2018 Lionfish Challenge checkpoint? Contact Lionfish@MyFWC.com.

Bay County

  • Panama City Diving - 5512 Thomas Drive, Panama City
  • Diver's Den - 3120 Thomas Drive, Panama City Beach
  • Dive Locker - 106 Thomas Drive, Panama City
  • Panama City Dive Center - 4823 Thomas Drive, Panama City Beach

Brevard County

  • Hatts Diving Headquarters - 2006 Front Street, Melbourne

Broward County

  • Gold Coast Scuba - 259 Commercial Boulevard Suite 2, Fort Lauderdale
  • Force-E Scuba Center - 1312 North Federal Highway, Pompano Beach

Charlotte County

  • Gaspar's Dive N Board - 2961 Placida Road #3, Englewood
  • Fantasea Scuba - 3781 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte

Citrus County

  • Bird's Underwater - 320 NW US Highway 19, Crystal River
  • Crystal River Watersports - 2380 N Suncoast Boulevard, Crystal River

Dixie County

  • Above SeaHorse Reef - 16812 SE Highway 19, Cross City

Escambia County

  • Escambia County DMR - 3363 W. Park Place, Pensacola
  • MBT Divers - 3920 Barrancas Avenue, Pensacola

Gulf County

  • Daly's Watersports - 317 Monument Avenue, Port St. Joe

Hernando County

  • Diver City Aqua Vertical - 9268 Cortez Blvd, Weeki Wachee

Hillsborough County

  • Woods and Water Scuba - 124 Edwards Avenue, Brandon
  • Adventure Outfitters - 4316 S. Manhattan Avenue, Tampa

Indian River County

  • Treasure Coast Dive Center - 8466 US-1, Vero Beach

Lee County

  • Captain Pete's Diving Outfitters - 1413 Colonial Boulevard, Fort Myers
  • Dean's Dive Center - 16964 Alico Mission Way, Fort Myers

Manatee County

  • Scuba Quest - 3318 Manatee Avenue W, Bradenton
  • Sea Kat Divers - 105 Seventh Street N., Bradenton Beach

Martin County

  • Deep Six Dive & Watersports - 2525 NW Federal Highway, Stuart
  • Stuart Dive Shop - 3317 SE Federal Highway, Stuart

Miami-Dade County

  • Austin's Diving Center - 10525 S Dixie Highway, Miami

Monroe County

  • Tildens Scuba Center - 4650 Overseas Highway, Marathon
  • Florida Keys Diving Center - 90451 Old Highway, Tavernier
  • Islamorada Dive Center - 84001 Overseas Highway, Islamorada
  • Captain's Corner Dive Center - 125 Ann Street, Key West

Okaloosa County

  • Discovery Dive World - 92 S John Sims Parkway, Valparaiso
  • ScubaTech of NW Florida - 301 Harbor Boulevard, Destin

Palm Beach County

  • Pura Vida Divers - 2513 Beach Court, Riviera Beach
  • Force-E Scuba Center - 2621 North Federal Highway, Boca Raton
  • Boynton Beach Dive Center - 4928, 212 S Federal Highway, Boynton Beach
  • Narcosis Dive Company - 200 E 13th Street, West Palm Beach

Pasco County

  • Super Sports And Scuba - 7129 US-19, New Port Richey
  • Scuba West - 6815 Tower Drive, Hudson

Pinellas County

  • Aquatic Obsessions Scuba - 6193 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg
  • Jim's Dive Shop - 9385 Bay Pines Boulevard, St. Petersburg
  • Mac's Sports Inc. Clearwater - 2126 Drew Street, Clearwater
  • Heroes Dive Center - 2109 Main Street A, Dunedin
  • Sunshine Scuba School - 1901 West Bay Drive Suite 10, Largo

Putnam County

  • Force-E Scuba Center - 1312 North Federal Highway, Pompano Beach

Sarasota County

  • Ocean Pro Dive Shop - 2259 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota
  • Venice Dive Center - 902 S Tamiami Trail, Nokomis
  • Florida Underwater Sports - 6345 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

St. Johns County

  • UF Whitney Marine Lab - 9505 Ocean Shore Boulevard, St. Augustine
  • iDive Florida - 854 Anastasia Boulevard, St. Augustine

St. Lucie County

  • Dive Odyssea - 621 N 2nd Street, Fort Pierce

Volusia County

  • Atlantic Scuba - 724 Ridgewood Avenue, Holly Hill
  • Discover Diving Dive Center - 92 Dunlawton Avenue, Port Orange
  • Spruce Creek Scuba - 1646 Taylor Road, Port Orange,/li>

Wakulla County

  • Wakulla Diving Center - 2784 Coastal Highway, Crawfordville