A lionfish.
Naomi Tamar / Unsplash

A record-setting nearly 30,000 lionfish were removed from Florida waters during the 2018 Lionfish Challenge. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced the winners of its annual challenge Thursday. The fish came from waters off eight Florida counties including Bay and Franklin.

Jason Blitzer with his Lionfish Challenge submission.
Jason Blitzer

Labor Day is the last day to participate in the Lionfish Challenge.

Nikkie Cox found this tagged lionfish off Franklin County. Photo courtesy of Nikkie Cox.
Nikkie Cox

There are a few weeks left to go in the state’s Lionfish Challenge. That’s an effort to rid Florida waters of the invasive species that has no natural predators and has a negative impact on wildlife.

Someone giving an oral presentation during the 2013 Lionfish Summit hosted by FWC in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
Tim Donovan / FWC Flickr

Florida’s wildlife agency will be holding a lionfish summit in the Fall. The goal is to find more ways to get rid of the spiny invasive species plaguing state waters.

A lionfish in Florida Bay
Robert Ellis / FWC Flickr

From “smart traps” to underwater drones, Florida’s wildlife agency hopes five organizations will spend thousands of dollars in grant funding to find new ways to further target lionfish. The spiny invasive species eat fish native to Florida, have no natural predators, and can lay thousands of eggs over a short period of time.

A stack of lionfish from 2018 Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day
Bekah Nelson / FWC's Flickr

The Lionfish Challenge is underway, and it’s one of several efforts to rid Florida of the invasive species that has no natural predators and negatively impacts wildlife.

FWC FWRI's Flickr

Florida wildlife officials say lionfish harvesters are crucial to getting rid of the invasive species. But, lionfish removal divers are urged to safely remove the fish without causing any natural habitat damage.

Tim Donovan / FWC's Flickr

This Saturday is not only Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day, it’s also the kick off for Florida’s Lionfish Challenge—an incentive program to encourage people to remove the nonnative species. State wildlife officials are doing a bit of a revamp this year.

sama093 via flickr /

Florida’s invasive species problem can be daunting, with real implications for the state’s ecology and economy. The breadth of the issue is spurring some lawmakers to ask if state funding makes a difference.

FWC Screenshot

The Lionfish Removal Challenge is underway, and Florida wildlife officials say so far, thousands of the invasive species have been removed—most from the Panhandle area.

Alicia Wellman / FWC's Flickr

Florida wildlife officials are their latest lionfish removal effort as a great success.

FWC's Flickr

Florida wildlife officials have unveiled a pilot program in the Florida Panhandle as part of their latest lionfish removal efforts.


Florida wildlife officials are continuing to look into new ways to help target an invasive species plaguing state waterways. They’ve started the lionfish state records program.


As the spiny lobster sport season begins this July, the Florida Wildlife officials have approved a new way for divers to capture more spiny lobsters, while also helping Florida’s native wildlife and habitat.

Florida wildlife officials want more people to sign up for their “Reef Rangers” program. It builds on the ongoing efforts to remove the invasive lionfish species from state waters.

FWC's Flickr account

Florida’s fishing industry has dealt with its fair share of problems, with oil spills and grouper shortages. But as Matthew Seeger reports, an article from Florida Taxwatch exposes another problem- ecological damage caused by a hungry little troublemaker known as the lionfish.

Capital Report: 03-06-2015

Mar 6, 2015

With the ink barely dry on its water policy legislation, the House is already mapping out a plan for land conservation. As Jim Ash reports, Republican leaders began focusing Friday on Amendment 1 and how it fits in to preserving and managing wilderness acres.

Florida lawmakers are looking into reforms related to mental health and substance abuse issues and how it relates to the state’s child welfare system. Sascha Cordner reports.


The lionfish continues to be problematic for Florida wildlife officials. While nice to look at, the invasive fish is harmful to the state’s nature habitat. The state wildlife agency is designating May 16th as Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day.


An app unveiled by Florida Wildlife officials months ago to combat invasive lionfish has received some upgrades.

“Report Florida Lionfish” app

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Amanda Nalley says the “Report Florida Lionfish” app has been doing pretty well with thousands of downloads since its May launch. And, she says the users’ experience has now improved.

FWC's Flickr account

Florida Wildlife officials are taking a new step to encourage lionfish removal and help control the invasive species. The new rule took effect Wednesday.

In August, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission banned the importation of lionfish for use in the aquarium trade. But, spokeswoman Amanda Nalley says there may be gap in that rule.


Florida wildlife officials are thanking the public for helping them combat lionfish by downloading the Florida Lionfish-reporting app. It’s a way for residents to share sightings of the invasive species on the go.

Since its May release, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Spokeswoman Amanda Nalley says her agency’s lionfish-reporting app has been a success.

Karen Parker / FWC's Flickr account

Florida wildlife officials are inviting Franklin county residents to take part in an informal workshop to learn more about combatting the invasive lionfish species currently threatening native wildlife. The Thursday event is part of the SciCafé series.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is partnering with the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve to put on the SciCafé workshop.

Amanda Nalley / FWC's Flickr account

A new rule banning the importation of lionfish is among several new regulations aimed at combating the invasive species set to take effect Friday.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Amanda Nalley says the goal behind making it illegal to import lionfish from out of state in the aquarium trade is to help prevent any further introduction of the spiny fish into Florida waters.

FWC's Flickr account

Florida wildlife officials have approved a series of rules aimed at combating the invasive species lionfish, including an importation ban.

At a Wednesday meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved new rules to make it illegal to import lionfish into the state from other countries or other states for use in the aquarium trade. FWC spokeswoman Amanda Nalley says the reason for the ban—which takes effect August 1st—is two-fold.

FWC Unveils New App To Combat Invasive Lionfish

May 28, 2014

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, or FWC, is taking an unconventional approach to combating invasive species. Its new smartphone app may hold the key to eliminating lionfish from the Florida coasts.


The FWC took to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon to announce its newest smartphone app titled Report Florida Lionfish. Through the app, users can submit lionfish data such as population size, location and how the fish are being harvested.