The Triton


Lionfish Challenge eliminates 23,000 fish


During the fourth annual Lionfish Challenge, held May 18 to Sept. 2, 23,451 lionfish were taken out of the ocean. There were 349 people registered for the challenge, and 148 people submitted lionfish – 134 recreational and 14 commercial.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will honor the first-place winners in each category at its December meeting in Panama City Beach. Also, those with the largest and smallest lionfish are eligible to win up to $3,000 in cash prizes, thanks to sponsors, including the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County and the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

Ken Ayers is the 2019 Lionfish Challenge recreational winner. Photo courtesy of Ken Ayers

First place winner in the recreational category, Ken Ayers of Bay County, turned in 1,194 lionfish. First place winner in the commercial category, Joshua Linvingston of Okaloosa County, turned in 3,192.8 pounds of lionfish. Winner of the largest lionfish category was Ron Surrency of Duval County with a 433 mm fish, while the winner of the smallest lionfish category was Nikkie Cox of Franklin County with a 37 mm fish.

Lionfish, which are native to Indo-Pacific waters, are an invasive species in Florida. The FWC encourages divers, anglers and commercial harvesters to remove lionfish because of their negative impact on local marine life and ecosystems.

A recreational fishing license is not required for recreational fishers targeting lionfish with a pole spear, Hawaiian sling, handheld net, or any other spearing device specifically designed for lionfish. However, a recreational fishing license is required for all other methods of harvesting lionfish, including hook and line, and spear guns. 

For more information, visit

Share This Post

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please answer the question below to leave a comment. * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Editor’s Picks

FLIBS19: Show’s economic impact jumps 50 percent

FLIBS19: Show’s economic impact jumps 50 percent

The 60th annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, held Oct. 30-Nov. 3, 2019, generated $1.3 billion in economic impact in the state …

Yacht bosun chooses to think like an owner, not spend like one

Yacht bosun chooses to think like an owner, not spend like one

By Bosun Alex Kempin I know, yet another article about personal finance and someone telling you to do something you will never do. I …

Yacht sinks off Savannah, five rescued

Yacht sinks off Savannah, five rescued

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued five people after the vessel they were on allided with the north Savannah jetties on Monday night. At …

Spain to end quarantine for visitors July 1

Spain to end quarantine for visitors July 1

Spain announced yesterday that beginning July 1 it will no longer require visitors from overseas to self-quarantine for 14 days. A …