FWC opens registration for Lionfish Challenge
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Foundation reported that registration is open for the 2020 Lionfish Challenge. It is an incentive program that rewards harvesters for their lionfish removals.
With a tiered system, everybody can be a winner, the FWC said. The participant who harvests the most lionfish will be crowned the Lionfish King/Queen. The challenge will run through Labor Day, Sept. 7.
There are two categories: recreational (number of lionfish) and commercial (pounds of lionfish). Participants with an active Saltwater Products License and lionfish sales within the last year will automatically be included in the commercial category. The recreational category is open to all divers who do not have a SPL.
To qualify for the challenge, harvesters must collect 20 lionfish (recreational) or 20 pounds of lionfish (commercial). Once the initial lionfish have been submitted, the participant will receive a commemorative 2020 Lionfish Challenge Coin and Dri-Fit long sleeve T-shirt. The prize tiers are as follows:
– 50 lionfish (100 pounds)
– 100 lionfish (200 pounds)
– 200 lionfish (400 pounds)
– 300 lionfish (600 pounds)
– 400 lionfish (800 pounds)
HOW TO SUBMIT CATCHES
– Recreational: The first 20 lionfish must be submitted to the FWC Lionfish Team via photo of all lionfish laid out so they can be counted. The photo must include the harvesters name, date of harvest (shown on phone or dive computer) and their signature. After the qualifying tier has been met, the harvester must submit their lionfish tails with their information (harvester name, date of harvest and signature) to a verified checkpoint. A 2020 FWC Lionfish Challenge Submission form must be filled out and sent to Lionfish@MyFWC.com.
– Commercial: Catches are submitted via electronic trip tickets. The trip tickets must include the harvester’s name, date of harvest, amount harvested (pounds) and the harvester’s signature.
LIONFISH CHALLENGE FEATURES
Bi-weekly raffles will be held and all qualified participants will be eligible to win.
A new component this year will be monthly mini-challenges. The winners will be announced each month and rewarded with substantial prizes.
The winners of the challenge will be announced at the Lionfish Removal and Awareness Festival on Sept. 11-13 at the HarborWalk Village in Destin.
To register or for more information, visit FWCReefRangers.com/Lionfish-Challenge.
Questions regarding the challenge can be sent to Lionfish@MyFWC.com.