Lionfish Challenge

2020 Lionfish Challenge

Lionfish Challenge Removal Incentive Program

Goal: To encourage and reward recreational and commercial divers for removing lionfish from Florida waters.


Timeline: May 22 – Sept. 7, 2020

Overview:

  • Statewide program
  • Recreational and commercial participant categories
  • Checkpoints located statewide for harvest submission
  • Tiered prize system to encourage continued harvest
  • Cash prizes
  • Bi-weekly raffle with variety of prizes
  • Mini challenges

How to Qualify

  • All participants required to register prior to participation

Recreational Category

  • Harvest 20 or more lionfish
  • Submit photo of harvest
    • Photo requirement: Include harvester name, date of harvest (shown on phone or dive computer), and signature. Lionfish must be displayed clearly for staff to obtain an accurate individual count.
    • Note: FWC reserves the right to deny submission if participant fails to fulfill the requirements for verification as described above.
  • Submit tails (after first 20) to checkpoint (listed below and online)
    • Place tails in a plastic sandwich bag(s): include harvester name, phone number, date of harvest, and number of tails.
    • Complete the 2020 FWC Lionfish Challenge Submission Form. Checkpoints will retain bags for verification by FWC staff.
    • Send a copy of the Submission Form to Lionfish@MyFWC.com and keep an additional copy with tails.

Commercial Category

  • Participants with active Saltwater Products License and lionfish sales within the last year will automatically be included in this category.
  • Submit photo of electronic trip tickets
    • Trip ticket requirement: harvester name, date of harvest, amount harvested (lbs), and signature

Rewards

All qualified participants will receive:

  • Commemorative coin
  • Long sleeve, Dri-Fit shirt
  • Feature in the FWC Lionfish Hall of Fame on FWCReefRangers.com

Resource-based Incentives (if qualified before harvest opportunity starts)

  • Spiny lobster – one per person, per day in addition to daily bag limit during 2020 sport season (July 29-30) only. Harvester MUST have commemorative coin in possession to harvest and possess extra spiny lobster.

Each category (recreational and commercial) will have their own Lionfish King/Queen with a 2nd and 3rd place winner.

Lionfish King/Queen (recreational and commercial)

  • Lionfish King/Queen Trophy
  • Feature article in FWC’s January 2021 Saltwater Regulations publication
  • Featured prominently in the FWC Lionfish Hall of Fame on the FWC Reef Rangers website
  • “Say Cheese” feature in Dive Training Magazine
  • Perdix dive computer
  • $300 for SCUBA nitrox fills

2nd Place Lionfish King/Queen (recreational and commercial)

  • Paralenz dive camera
  • $200 for SCUBA nitrox fills

3rd Place Lionfish King/Queen (recreational and commercial)

  • GoPro Hero 8 dive camera
  • $100 for SCUBA nitrox fills

Prize Tiers (recreational/commercial)

  • 50 lionfish/100 lbs – Customized neck gaiter, beach towel, and can koozie
  • 100 lionfish/200 lbs – Customized Nalgene water bottle, Neritic polespear, and fillet knife
  • 200 lionfish/400 lbs – ZooKeeper and Save a Dive Kit
  • 300 lionfish/600 lbs – Customized Engel backpack cooler and Engel Silipint glass
  • 400 lionfish/800 lbs – SCUBA Cylinder and customized SeaDek Mat

Bi-Weekly Raffle Drawings

Mini-Challenges


View photos from the 2016-2019 Lionfish Challenge

All participants must register for the 2020 Lionfish Challenge prior to submitting lionfish to the program.

How to submit your harvest to the 2020 Lionfish Challenge:

If you are a Recreational participant:

  • Instructions for harvest submission up to 20 lionfish:
    • Take photo of lionfish and submit through the electronic Harvest Submission form below.
      • Photo requirement: Include harvester name, date of harvest displayed on phone or dive computer, and signature. Lionfish must be displayed clearly for staff to obtain an accurate count.
  • Instructions for harvest submission after first 20 lionfish:
    • Remove tails from lionfish and bring to a local checkpoint
      • Tail submission requirement: Remove tails and place in a plastic sandwich bag. Include harvester name, phone number, date of harvest, and number of tails.
    • Checkpoint staff must complete the 2020-Lionfish-Challenge-Submission-Form and send a copy to Lionfish@MyFWC.com.
    • Checkpoints will retain bag of tails and a copy of the submission form for verification by FWC staff.

If you are a Commercial participant:

  • Submit photo or copy of trip ticket through the electronic Harvest Submission form below.
    • Trip ticket requirement: Include harvester name, date of harvest, amount harvested (lbs.), and signature.

Note: FWC reserves the right to deny submission if participant fails to fulfill the requirements for verification as described above.

 

All participants must register prior to submitting their harvest.

Purpose: Recreational harvesters, after submission of their first 20 lionfish, must remove lionfish tails, place in plastic bag(s), complete the 2020 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 2020 Lionfish Challenge checkpoint? Contact Lionfish@MyFWC.com for more information and instructions.

For a detailed list of checkpoints including contact information and operational hours, view the 2020 Lionfish Challenge Checkpoint Table.

Bay County

Diver’s Den
3120 Thomas Drive, Panama City Beach, FL 32408

Dive Locker
1010 Thomas Drive, Panama City, FL 32408

Panama City Dive Center
4823 Thomas Drive, Panama City Beach, FL 32408

Brevard County

Hatts Diving Headquarters
2006 Front Street, Melbourne, FL 32901

Broward County

Force-E Scuba Center – Pompano Beach
1312 North Federal Highway, Pompano Beach, FL 33431

No Shenanigans Diving
1324 N University Drive, Coral Springs, FL 33071

Divers Cove
2335 S University Drive, Davie, FL 33324

Citrus County

Crystal River Watersports
2380 N Suncoast Boulevard, Crystal River, FL 34428

Bird’s Underwater
320 NW US Highway 19, Crystal River, FL 34428

Dixie County

Above SeaHorse Reef
16812 SE Highway 19, Cross City, FL 32628

Escambia County

Escambia County DMR
3363 W. Park Place, Pensacola, FL 32505

Dive Pros
7203 US-98, Pensacola, FL 32506

Hillsborough County

Woods and Water Scuba
24 Edwards Ave, Brandon, FL 33510

Adventure Outfitters
4316 S Manhattan Ave, Tampa, FL 33611

Lee County

Captain Pete’s Diving Outfitters
1413 Colonial Boulevard, Ft. Myers

Dean’s Dive Center, Inc.
16964 Alico Mission Way, Fort Myers 33098

Manatee County

Scuba Quest
3318 Manatee Avenue W, Bradenton, FL 34205

Martin County

Deep Six Dive & Watersports – Stuart
2525 NW Federal Highway, Stuart, FL 34994

Stuart Dive Shop
3317 SE Federal Highway, Stuart, FL 33497

Miami-Dade County

Austin’s Diving Center
10525 S Dixie Highway, Miami, FL 33156

Tarpoon Lagoon Dive Center
300 Alton Road Suite 110, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Monroe County

Tildens Scuba Center
4650 Overseas Highway, Marathon, FL 33050

Florida Keys Diving Center
90451 Old Highway, Tavernier, FL 33070

Captain’s Corner Dive Center
125 Ann Street, Key West, FL 33040

Finz Dive Center
5130 Overseas Highway, Key West, FL 33040

Divers Direct (Key Largo)
99621 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050

Okaloosa County

Discovery Dive World – Valparaiso
92 S John Sims Parkway, Valparaiso, FL 32580

ScubaTech of NW Florida
301 Harbor Boulevard (Highway 98), Destin

Palm Beach County

Scuba Works
351 South US Hwy One, Suite 103, Jupiter, FL 33477

Force-E Scuba Center – Boca Raton
2621 North Federal Highway, Boca Raton, FL 33431

Boynton Beach Dive Center
212 S Federal Highway, Boynton Beach, FL 33435

Narcosis Dive Company
200 E 13th Street, West Palm Beach, FL 33404

Florida Scuba Divers
635 Northlake Boulevard, North Palm Beach, FL 33408

Pasco County

Super Sports And Scuba
7129 US-19, New Port Richey, FL 34652

Scuba West
6815 Tower Drive, Hudson, FL 34667

Pinellas County

Jim’s Dive Shop
9385 Bay Pines Boulevard, St. Petersburg, FL 33708

Mac’s Sports Inc. Clearwater
2126 Drew Street, Clearwater, FL 33765

Heroes Dive Center
2109 Main St. A, Dunedin

Sunshine Scuba School – Largo
1901 West Bay Drive Suite 10, Largo, FL 33770

Pinellas Lionfish Tail 2020
10344 51st Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33708

Sarasota County

Venice Dive Center
902 S Tamiami Trail, Nokomis, FL 34275

Florida Underwater Sports
6920 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34231

St. Johns County

iDive Florida
854 Anastasia Blvd, St. Augustine, FL 32080

St. Lucie County

Dive Odyssea
621 N 2nd Street, Fort Pierce, FL 34950

Volusia County

Discover Diving Dive Center LLC
92 Dunlawton Avenue, Port Orange, FL 32127

Spruce Creek Scuba
1646 Taylor Road, Port Orange, FL 32128

Wakulla County

Wakulla Diving Center
2784 Coastal Highway, Crawfordville, FL 32327

Lionfish Challenge Raffle Rules

  1. This contest is the being conducted by the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation located at P.O. Box 11010, Tallahassee, FL 32302.
  2. Winners of the raffle drawing are eligible to receive one of a number of prizes
  3. Current employees of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are NOT ELIGIBLE to apply for or win any of the Lionfish Challenge raffle prizes.
  4. There is no cost to enter to win. To be eligible to win the participant must complete a Harvest Submission Form and upload a photo of their first 20 lionfish harvested in Florida waters to FWCReefRangers.com.
  5. Participants will receive one raffle entry upon completion of Harvest Submission Form.
  6. Participants cannot win multiple raffle prizes during the Lionfish Challenge.
  7. Winners will be randomly drawn, by 10AM ET on the following dates: June 10, 2020 (2 winners); June 24, 2020 (2 winners); July 8, 2020 (2 winners); July 22, 2020 (4 winners); August 5, 2020 (4 winners); August 19, 2020 (2 winners); September 2, 2020 (2 winners). Drawings will be made at the office of the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida, Inc., using a computer program designed for random selection. The winner will be notified via email and will have five (5) business days after notification to verify their shipping address. Otherwise it will be offered to the next alternate selected in the drawing.
  8. Raffle prizes are awarded to winners in the order they were drawn. Raffle prizes are NOT exchangeable.
  9. Participants may choose not to accept their raffle prize. In this instance the raffle prize will be entered back into the prize pool and the participant will have forfeited their entry into the drawing.
  10. Void where prohibited by law.
  11. The Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reserves the right to use photographs of and quotes from the winner in publications and video presentations. Raffle winners may be showcased on FWCReefRangers.com and Facebook.com/fwcreefrangers.
  12. Prizes are taxable and will be reported to the IRS as appropriate. Please check with your tax advisor should you have any questions.

Hall of Fame

2020 Lionfish Challenge Qualifying Participants!

 

Tier 4- 200 lionfish or 400 lbs

Bob Gamble – 211

Tier 3- 100 lionfish or 200 lbs

Rachel Bowman – 335.25 lbs
Adam Wise – 182
Annie Beattie – 158
David connerth – 144
Danny Ward – 119
Shane Rasch – 101
France Mer – 100

 

Tier 2- 50 lionfish or 100 lbs

Brady Hale – 89
Heather Perez – 79
Brandon Cosenza – 74
Danielle Pierone – 73
Tim Watts – 69
Bill Barnes – 66
Helen Rodney – 58
Stacey Beasley – 52
Michael Hoffman – 51

Tier 1- 20 lionfish or 20 lbs

Charlene Reedy
Peter Button
Faustino Botello
Julie Cage
Stephen Schuler
Jeffrey Pacha
Michael Curry
Isidoro Bediya
Robert Simpson
James Spencer
Koa Viravong
Jeff Banzhoff
Andrew Cihlar
Nichele McDonald
Jeanie Van Tassle
Dawn Richitt
Sarah Pierce
Mary Heaton
Dawn Ross
John Beasley
Kelsey Hudson
Tom Wammack
Sam Chavers
Jonathan Schrier
Ryan Bonhag
Chris Campbell
Nikkie Cox
Mark Wilson
Peter Angelotti
Paulo Ulman
Chris Rowell
Jeff Bernier
Daniel Fico
Adreane Culotta
Mark Konz
Andrea Kimbrel
Brooks Feeser
Tyler Chute
Misty Matthews
Curt Matthews
Dee Pacha
Mark Eglington
Harold Davis
Trey Lockey
Bobby Hughes
Mark Ciesielski
Randall Davis
Jenny Davis
Alex Fogg
David Garrett
Russel Peters
Michael Ward
John Herrera
Jane Corliss


2019 Winners

Lionfish King

Ken Ayers, Jr. – 1,194 Lionfish

Commercial Champion

Josh Livingston – 3,192.8 lbs


2018 Winners

Lionfish King

John McCain – 1,137 Lionfish

Commercial Champion

Ron Surrency – 5,017 lbs


2017 Winners

Lionfish King

Ken Ayers, Jr. – 1,250 Lionfish

Commercial Champion

Josh Livingston – 4,560 lbs


2016 Winners

Lionfish King

David Garrett – 3,324 Lionfish



Mini-Challenge #2: Largest Lionfish

Timeline: July 3 (12:01 a.m.) – July 13 (11:59 p.m.), 2020

Prize: Shearwater Perdix Dive Computer

Participant must be registered for the 2020 Lionfish Challenge to participate.

Lionfish Measurement:

  • Use a metric fish board or metric measuring tape secured to a flat surface. The tape should run parallel to the fish’s midline from snout to tail. Measure the total length of the lionfish: obtain fish length from the tip of the snout to the longest point on the tail (caudal fin). Ensure that the specimen’s mouth is closed during measurement. (See example photo)
  • The length of the fish must be measured in millimeters. Lionfish must be laid flat with the tip of the mouth closed at 0.00 mm.
  • Lionfish must be retained in a freezer until a winner is determined in case of any discrepancies in the submission. Upon conclusion of the Mini-Challenge and announcements are made, you may dispose of your lionfish.

Measurement Video (Required):

  • Video should contain the fish laid out properly on the measuring tape, clearly showing the measurement in millimeters, the date shown on a phone, tablet or dive computer, and the diver with a piece of paper showing the divers name and registration number. Video should not exceed 30 seconds.
  • Submit video to Mini-Challenge #2 – Largest Lionfish Dropbox Folder: https://www.dropbox.com/request/J846fOMfZLnqw7rKBfRF
  • Video title must be in this format: Registration#_FirstNameLastName (ex. 162_JaneDoe)

Photo Submission (Optional):

  • A photo of the diver and fish laid out properly on the measuring board/tape.
  • Photo will not be used to determine the length of the fish. This photo submission will be for use on social media and the FWC Reef Rangers website.

Submit Largest Lionfish Challenge Submission Form and photo via e-mail to Lionfish@MyFWC.com.

All registered divers who harvest a lionfish over 400 mm in length will be rewarded with a customized Reef Rangers 10L dry bag. Only one prize will be awarded to each participant who submits lionfish larger than 400 mm.

Terms and Conditions

FWC reserves the right to deny submission if participant fails to fulfill the requirements for verification as described above. FWC is not liable for any incidences that occur during the lionfish harvesting trips. Participants must harvest lionfish during the Mini-Challenge timeline in order to be eligible for reward. Only the participant who harvests the largest lionfish will receive the top reward. Participants who qualify for the over 400 mm category will only receive one prize regardless the number of lionfish submitted. All final winner decisions will be determined by FWC staff. FWC reserves the right to disqualify any participant if there are any suspicions of a false or edited submission.

Click Here for a printable version of the rules and terms.

Mini-Challenge #1

The first 25 participants to qualify for the Lionfish Challenge will be entered into a drawing to win a YETI Panga Dry Backpack and three winners will be drawn.

Mini-Challenge Raffle Rules:

  1. This contest is being conducted by the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation located at P.O. Box 11010, Tallahassee, FL 32302.
  2. Winners of the raffle drawing are eligible to receive one of a number of prizes.
  3. Current employees of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are NOT ELIGIBLE to apply for or win any of the Lionfish Challenge raffle prizes.
  4. There is no cost to enter to win. To be eligible to win, the participant must complete a Harvest Submission Form and upload a photo of their first 20 lionfish harvested in Florida waters to FWCReefRangers.com.
  5. The first 25 participants to submit their qualifying fish will be eligible to win. The mini-challenge raffle will conclude after the first 25 submissions.
  6. Participants will receive one raffle entry upon completion of Harvest Submission Form.
  7. Three winners will be randomly drawn once 25 participants have submitted their qualifying fish. Drawings will be made at the office of the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida, Inc., using a computer program designed for random selection. The winner will be notified via email and will have five (5) business days after notification to verify their shipping address. Otherwise it will be offered to the next alternate selected in the drawing.
  8. Raffle prizes are awarded to winners in the order they were drawn. Raffle prizes are NOT exchangeable.
  9. Participants may choose not to accept their raffle prize. In this instance the raffle prize will be entered back into the prize pool and the participant will have forfeited their entry into the drawing.
  10. Void where prohibited by law.
  11. The Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reserves the right to use photographs of and quotes from the winner in publications and video presentations. Raffle winners may be showcased on FWCReefRangers.com and Facebook.com/fwcreefrangers.
  12. Prizes are taxable and will be reported to the IRS as appropriate. Please check with your tax advisor should you have any questions

Winners

Chris Campbell

Sarah Peirce

Michael Curry

Interested in sponsoring or participating as a checkpoint?