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Old 04-14-2016, 02:24 PM   #1
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Default FWC approved LF population control plan

Well, It's not the aggressive plan that was submitted to the FWC but I hope that this scaled down version will be successful just the same. Here it is:

Lionfish beware: FWC approves two-part lionfish removal effort for 2016

At its April 13 meeting in Jupiter, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved a two-part lionfish plan to further encourage removals of the invasive species in 2016.
Lionfish have a potential negative impact on native wildlife and habitat and the FWC encourages divers and anglers to remove them from Florida waters whenever they can.

The two-part initiative will include a statewide reward program that will expand upon 2015 efforts and a Panhandle Pilot Program.
“Innovative programs like these are a great way to generate public involvement and interest in controlling the lionfish population,” said FWC Chairman Brian Yablonski. “Those that remove lionfish not only get rewarded for their efforts, but they also get the experience of helping manage Florida’s fisheries. In addition, involving Florida’s residents and visitors helps us gather better data to continuously evaluate and improve our approach to invasive species control.”

Statewide Program
To qualify in the statewide program, participants must remove 50 or more lionfish between Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day (May 14, 2016) and the end of September. Qualified participants will receive a commemorative coin to mark their membership and an event T-shirt; be featured in the FWC Lionfish Hall of Fame on the MyFWC.com website; be entered in drawings to win prizes including fishing licenses, lionfish harvesting equipment, fuel cards and dive tank refills; and, if qualified before the relevant fishing seasons start, they will have the opportunity to take an additional spiny lobster per day during the 2016 mini-season (July 27-28). FWC will also consider allowing the opportunity to harvest an additional bag limit per day of bay scallops during Labor Day weekend (Sept. 3-5, 2016), where population can support harvest.

Qualifying lionfish must be counted via an FWC approved process such as a sponsored tournament or a check-in location. These locations will be listed online at MyFWC.com/Lionfish. All other fishing regulations still apply.



The person who “checks in” the most lionfish between the Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day kick-off and the end of September will be crowned Florida’s Lionfish King or Queen and will receive a lifetime saltwater fishing license, have his or her photograph featured on the cover of the FWC’s January 2017 saltwater regulations publication, be featured on MyFWC.com’s Lionfish Hall of Fame, and be recognized at the November 2016 Commission meeting.

Panhandle Pilot Program
The Panhandle Pilot Program will focus on lionfish removal efforts off Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf and Franklin counties, where lionfish can be found in high densities. For every 100 lionfish harvested from this seven-county region between May 2016 and May 2017, the harvester will be eligible to receive a tag allowing them to take either a legal-sized red grouper or a legal-sized cobia that is over the bag limit from state waters. The state will issue 100 red grouper and 30 cobia tags in total to successful participants in the pilot program. In addition, any person or group that harvests 500 or more lionfish during this one-year period will be given the opportunity to name an artificial reef.

The FWC will be working to establish as many lionfish check-in locations as possible between now and May 14, and lionfish recorded at FWC-sponsored tournaments will automatically count. A list of tournaments and check-in locations will be available on MyFWC.com/Lionfish prior to May 14.

Learn more about lionfish, including the two-day FWC hosted Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day Festival (May 14-15) in Pensacola at MyFWC.com/Lionfish or ReefRangers.com.
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Old 04-14-2016, 04:34 PM   #2
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Hey Candy....so I don't want to come across as being "down" on you....here's the truth....this either shows the total ignorance of the people making these decisions or ....even worse.....demonstrates thier willingness to intentionally cause your idea to fail....either way....its a disgrace (not you...the "powers to be" who adopted this) and here's why.

How many divers do you think will take the time to register 100 kills for MAYBE ....(it doesn't say garaunteed) 1 Cobia tag or 1 R.G. tag.

first...I don't know many divers in this area that ever killed over 1 cobia in a day or 2 Red Grouper in a day...furthermore, it's been at least 8-10 years since the last storm pushed any quantity of Red Grouper into the State Waters... most of the Pensacola R.G are beyond the state waters. Its a total joke....maybe even played on you! I applaud you for trying but their "agenda" is more important than success of any program...I believe that they've agreed to this to show your proposal will fail "proving" that private citizen divers can't solve this (which they can't but there's nothing "man" can do citizen or government) in order to show the only "solution" is to throw more money at it.

do you know many divers? would you really think this would provide any ADDTIONAL motivation to attack lionfish?

the closest "man-made" solution is developing a commercial market such that it's lucrative for divers to persue them.
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Old 04-14-2016, 05:07 PM   #3
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I don't know if it's the best solution but at least it's something. I was already looking forward to cleaning out some lion fish this summer and now I get the option of naming a reef ha! Sounds like there could be some other little perks in there too.
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Old 04-14-2016, 05:19 PM   #4
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So D. I have an honest question for you...
I see you're from Birmingham so perhaps you're not even familiar with the fishery here. (not meant as an insult....for all I know you grew up here and know it better than I do) but the ability to earn an additional tag for Cobia...or Red Grouper...or even hitting the magic 500 and "naming a reef" does that add ADDITIONAL MOTIVATION for you to more aggressively target lionfish....and be careful, by your own admission, you were already looking forward to cleaning them out.

Now had they offered an additional Snapper (which we all know are the most overpopulated of the game fish in this region) that might've been a deal maker....I really hate to sound so conspiratorial but I'm thinking they want this to fail.

I know, I won't chase a "check-in" station for the tag nor the right to name a reef

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Originally Posted by DMcBride View Post
I don't know if it's the best solution but at least it's something. I was already looking forward to cleaning out some lion fish this summer and now I get the option of naming a reef ha! Sounds like there could be some other little perks in there too.
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Old 04-14-2016, 05:34 PM   #5
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I do live in Birmingham but am from Pensacola and get back fairly often. I don't disagree with you on the motivation factor. My point was that it's a start and is better than what we had which was nothing.
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Old 04-14-2016, 07:04 PM   #6
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BillyBob I get the notion you're upset?

I'm pretty happy with the current plan, even if it doesn't get people out there to kill, it will educate them.

Obviously they are holding back some prizes, if the CCA can get boats and a truck donated for 1 tagged redfish the state could too.

I don't see the check-in station list on the website? Not posted yet?
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Old 04-14-2016, 07:31 PM   #7
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Let divers get a free license to sell their lionfish!!!!! And let them sell to any restaurant willing to serve it. That would put a dent.
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Old 04-14-2016, 07:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telum Pisces View Post
Let divers get a free license to sell their lionfish!!!!! And let them sell to any restaurant willing to serve it. That would put a dent.
+1 I agree that would be the best way to control them. Free market Capitolism.
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Old 04-14-2016, 08:10 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Telum Pisces View Post
Let divers get a free license to sell their lionfish!!!!! And let them sell to any restaurant willing to serve it. That would put a dent.

Or just sell them to whoever wants to buy them and help fund the trip...
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Old 04-15-2016, 06:28 AM   #10
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Or just sell them to whoever wants to buy them and help fund the trip...
That too. Invasive species should have all restrictions and limitations lifted that could possibly get in the way of allowing people to profit off of it. Money talks!!! Money motivates people.
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