Don’t Forget: 2018 Lionfish Festival Is this Weekend

16 May, 2018

In 2016. The state gulf length record was broken by Charles Meyling of Montgomery. Shot off Pensacola. 445 mm, the former record was 438 mm. It did not beat the gulf weight or the overall state record. Image Credit: FWC/Avery Bristol

In 2016, the state gulf length record was broken by Charles Meyling of Montgomery. It was shot off Pensacola, and measured 445 mm (the former record was 438 mm). It did not beat the gulf weight or the overall state record. Image Credit: FWC/Avery Bristol

The 2018 Lionfish Removal and Awareness Festival is Saturday and Sunday, May 19 and 20, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Celebrate Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day (May 19) with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and partners.

This year’s fourth annual event will be at a new location: the Flora-Bama Yacht Club and Ole River Grill in Perdido Key on the Florida/Alabama coastal border.

Activities include fillet demonstrations, free lionfish tastings prepared by celebrity chefs, family-friendly games and activities, and more than 40 art, diving, and conservation booths.

New this year, a benefit concert by Little Texas will take place on Sunday, May 20, at 5 p.m., presented by Coast Watch Alliance and Lionfish University.

The event also coincides with the annual Lionfish World Championship Tournament, hosted by Coast Watch Alliance.

Double your chances at prizes and glory by signing up for the tournament and the 2018 Lionfish Challenge, an FWC lionfish removal incentive program that starts on Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day. Thanks to this year’s Lionfish Challenge sponsors, if you find an FWC-tagged lionfish, you could possibly win up to $5,000. Harvesters who remove the most lionfish will be crowned the recreational Lionfish King/Queen and the Commercial Champion. Register today at MyFWC.com/Lionfish.

David Garrett (center right), the first ever Lionfish King, crowned in 2016 for harvesting over 3000 lionfish. Image Credit: FWC/Avery Bristol

David Garrett (center right), the first ever Lionfish King, crowned in 2016 for harvesting over 3,000 lionfish. Image Credit: FWC/Avery Bristol

The Lionfish Removal and Awareness Festival and the Lionfish World Championship Tournament are presented by sponsors Poarch Band of Creek Indians, Wind Creek Atmore, and OWA (VisitOwa.com).

Statewide Lionfish Events

Can’t make the festival and tournament in Perdido Key? Find an event near you by clicking on “Lionfish Festival” at the top of ReefRangers.com and scrolling down. Statewide events include:

  • Lion Tamer Tournament – Panama City Beach
  • Sebastian Lionfish Fest – Sebastian
  • Florida Skin Divers Association’s Lionfish Calcutta – St. Petersburg

Look for other event updates at MyFWC.com/Lionfish by clicking on “Lionfish Derbies and Events.”

Questions?

Contact the FWC Division of Marine Fisheries Management at 850-487-0554.

What is Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day?

Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day (the first Saturday after Mother’s Day each year) raises awareness about lionfish, a non-native, invasive species that has the potential to negatively impact native species and habitat.

Thanks to the following 2018 Lionfish Challenge sponsors:

  • American Sportfishing Association
  • Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A
  • Boat Owners Association of The United States
  • National Marine Manufacturers Association
  • Coastal Conservation Association Florida
  • Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County, Inc.
  • Dive Rite
  • Narked Scuba
  • Lionator Pole Spears

Links

Purchases of the new lionfish hat help benefit lionfish awareness and removal efforts.

Purchases of the new lionfish hat help benefit lionfish awareness and removal efforts.

Support Florida lionfish control programs by purchasing new Rep Your Water lionfish hats at Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida.

Facebook:

Facebook.com/LionfishReefRangers
Facebook.com/LionfishWorldChampionship

Website:

ReefRangers.com
MyFWC.com/Lionfish

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Video Bonus

Check out the new 2018 tagged lionfish incentive challenge: bagging a tagged lionfish between May 19th and September 3rd, 2018, makes you eligible for a cash prize of up to $5,000! The FWC has tagged six to eight lionfish on each of 50 artificial reefs throughout state waters; more information can be found at ReefRangers.com.

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About the author

Reef To Rainforest
Reef To Rainforest

Reef to Rainforest Media, LLC is the publisher of award-winning magazines and books in the fields of aquarium keeping, aquatics, and marine science. It is the English-language publisher of CORAL and AMAZONAS Magazines and is based in Shelburne, Vermont, USA.

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