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Lionfish Challenge

Post By: culinarypunk      Posted: 5/16/2017 10:38:00 AM     Points: 73574    

Panhandle Pilot Program Checkpoints
This information is preliminary. Check back closer to the Lionfish Challenge start date, May 20, 2017, for updates.

Timeline

• Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day 2017 (May 20, 2017) through Labor Day (Sept. 4, 2017)

Location

• Statewide

How to Participate

• All participants who have an active Saltwater Products License and who have commercial lionfish sales within the past year will automatically be included in the commercial category.

Recreational Category

Qualify

• Register for the Lionfish Challenge (Registration opens May 8, 2017)
• Harvest 25 or more lionfish
·Send photo of harvest to Lionfish@MyFWC.com (first 25 ONLY)
- Include harvester name, date the lionfish were harvested, and signature in the photograph
- First 25 may also be submitted at an FWC approved checkpoint

Submitting more than 25 lionfish

• FWC Lionfish Challenge Check-In Form to approved checkpoints (select dive shops, tournaments, and regional offices statewide)
• Tails must be in a dry plastic sandwich bag
• Label bag with diver name, date, phone number, registration number, and number of tails included
• Last day to submit is Sept. 4, 2017
· Checkpoints will retain bags for verification by FWC staff

Commercial Category

• Register for the Lionfish Challenge (Registration opens May 8, 2017)
• Harvest and sell at least 25 pounds (or 25 fish if a Marine Life Endorsement harvester)
• Submit a photo or copy of your commercial trip tickets dated May 20-Sept. 4, 2017, to Lionfish@MyFWC.com (photo must include harvester name, date harvested, amount sold and your signature in photo)
• Last day to submit is Sept. 4, 2017
• All participants who have an active Saltwater Products License and who have commercial lionfish sales will automatically be included in the commercial category.

Rewards

All qualified recreational and commercial participants

• Commemorative coin
• T-shirt
• Featured in the FWC Lionfish Hall of Fame on the MyFWC.com website
• Spiny lobster – one per person, per day in addition to daily bag limit during 2017 sport season only (July 26-27, 2017) - if qualified before relevant harvest opportunity starts

Lionfish King or Queen - Recreational

• Most lionfish checked in (individual only)
• Lionfish King/Queen trophy awarded Sept. 10 at the Lionfish Safari in St. Petersburg
• $500 gift card for dive tank refills
• Feature article in FWC's January 2018 Saltwater Regulations publication
• Featured prominently in the FWC Lionfish Hall of Fame on the MyFWC.com website

Commercial Champion

• Trophy
• Recognized at the Sept. 10 at the Lionfish Safari in St. Petersburg
• Featured in FWC's commercial saltwater regulations publication

Panhandle Pilot Program

Timeline

• This program ends May 19, 2017 (Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day 2016-2017)

Location

• Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf and Franklin counties

How to Qualify (Watch a video on how to submit lionfish tails)

• Harvest 100 or more lionfish
• Bring tails to checkpoints in a plastic bag marked with name, date phone number (select dive shops and regional offices)
• Print and fill out the FWC Lionfish Challenge Check-In Form or fill out form at checkpoint

Resource-based Incentives (until all tags claimed)

• For each 100 lionfish harvested, receive one tag to take either a legal-sized red grouper or a legal-sized cobia over bag limit from state waters
• 100 red grouper tags available
• 30 cobia tags available
• Tags expire May 19, 2017

Artificial reef naming

• The first 10 persons or groups to harvest 500 or more lionfish will have an artificial reef named after them

Please check businesses for hours of operation

If you are a dive shop and would like to be a checkpoint or if you are a diver in need of additional assistance in locating a checkpoint, please call 850-487-0554..

(Watch a video on how to submit lionfish tails)

Click here for a pdf

County / Checkpoint name / Address

Bay / Diver's Den - Panama City Beach / 3120 Thomas Dr., Panama City Beach
Bay / Panama City Diving / 5512 Thomas Dr., Panama City Beach
Escambia / Dive Pros / 7203 W. Highway 98, Pensacola

Escambia / Escambia County DMR / 3363 W. Park Place, Pensacola
Franklin / FSU Coastal & Marine Laboratory - Panacea / 3618 Coastal Hwy 98, St. Theresa
Gulf / Daly's Watersports / 317 Monument Ave., Port St. Joe
Okaloosa / Discovery Dive World / 92 S. John Sims Parkway, Valparaiso
Santa Rosa / Bay Breeze Dive Center / 49 Gulf Breeze Pkwy, Gulf Breeze
Wakulla / Wakulla Diving Center / 2784 Coastal Hwy, Crawfordville
Walton / South Walton Artificial Reef Association / 26 Logan Lane, Suite G, Santa Rosa Beach

2016 Lionfish Challenge

The Statewide Lionfish Challenge started on Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day (May 14, 2016) and ended Sept. 30.