Florida Issues Call for Anglers to Target Exotics

01 Apr, 2016

Mayan Cichlid taken on lure. FWC image: John Cimbaro.

Mayan Cichlid, CIchlasoma uropthalmus, taken on lure in Florida waters. The species is now abundant in South Florida and is known for its meaty, white, mild-flavored meat. Known to some locals as the “Atomic Sunfish.” FWC image: John Cimbaro.

“Catch nonnative freshwater fish, get the chance to win prizes during month of April”

“Florida is home to at least 34 species of reproducing exotic fish and new species continue to be found, which can impact native fish communities,” says FWC biologist Kelly Gestring. “By removing and reporting nonnative fish, anglers help manage populations of exotic species and help conserve our state’s precious natural resources.”

The State Fish and Wildlife Commission today issued an invitation to fishermen to help reduce the burgeoning populations of non-native fishes in Florida waters.

From the FWC Release, April 1, 2016:

“Want the opportunity to win prizes while helping to document and remove nonnative freshwater fish from Florida’s waters? Consider participating in the second statewide Nonnative Fish Catch, Click and Report Contest, coordinated by the Florida Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and partners.

The 2016 contest kicks off at 6 a.m. on April 1 and runs until midnight on April 30.

“Participating is easy — anglers simply take a photo, enter detailed catch location or GPS coordinates, and report nonnative freshwater fish catches to IveGot1.org during the contest sample period. Catches can also be reported by downloading the IveGot1 app, by calling 888-IVE-GOT1 (888-483-4681), or by posting photos and catch data to your Instagram account.

The contest is part of a continuing effort to raise awareness of nonnative fish species and encourage anglers to target nonnative fish for consumption by the FWC and partners, including the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Florida Invasive Species Partnership, University of Georgia and Everglades Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area. Partners plan to hold the event annually with the help of anglers acting as citizen scientists.

Photos available on FWC Flickr site. Go to: https://flic.kr/s/aHsk2BPUdV

Mayan Cichlid Profile by FWC


  1. April 07, 2016

    Sign me up fresh water fishing is my passion in life

  2. Chris Sugg
    April 11, 2016

    Just caught one and posted on Instagram

  3. April 12, 2016

    Hey could you send me a list of the non native fish ill be fiahing for?

    • April 12, 2016

      There’s a link at the bottom of the post.

  4. April 12, 2016

    What about snake heads

  5. J
    April 13, 2016

    So who should we eradicate all peacock bass from Florida? They are a non-native species?

  6. April 14, 2016


  7. June 29, 2016

    Don’t worry, soon anything worth catching will be illegal or unrealistic size limits such as grouper. This state has turned into a ****hole for these suited crooks calling themselves the FWC

  8. July 15, 2016

    I Would I be able catch some of these fish for an aquarium

  9. August 19, 2016

    I just caught a manatee. Does that count?

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