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Next Lionfish Challenge winners announced Sept. 9

There’s still time to remove lionfish and win prizes by participating in the 2017 Lionfish Challenge. The statewide lionfish removal incentive program will come to a close Sept. 4. The winners, also known as the Lionfish King/Queen (recreational category) and the Commercial Champion, will be crowned at the Lionfish Safari in St. Petersburg at 4 p.m. Sept. 9. Join Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) staff along with Lionfish Safari organizer Reef Monitoring, as we celebrate these amazing lionfish hunters at the North Straub Park, 400 Bay Shore Drive NE.

Competition is fierce. The 100 recreational and commercial participants have removed more than 12,300 lionfish so far (just over 6,000 recreationally and just under 6,000 commercially) and have received prizes ranging from T-shirts, tumblers and heat packs to ZombieStickz Lionfish Eliminator and Neritic pole spears, Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium gift bags and ZooKeeper Lionfish Containment Units. Lionfish Challenge winners will be given a custom-made FishBone Design trophy and a No Shoes Reefs limited edition Engel 85 cooler.

The FWC’s Lionfish Challenge started on Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day, May 20.

To enter, participants register online at MyFWC.com/Lionfish and submit their harvest of 25 lionfish (or 25 pounds commercially).

The more lionfish you enter, the more prizes you will receive.

Think you have what it takes to be crowned the next Lionfish King/Queen or Commercial Champion? Sign up and learn more today at MyFWC.com/Lionfish.

Learn more about the Lionfish Safari at ReefMonitoring.org by scrolling over “Event Page” and clicking on “Lionfish Safari.”

Also, be sure to check out the new and improved Reef Rangers website at ReefRangers.com, which will be launched Sept. 5.