State May Add Lionfish Bounty To Lobster Mini-Season

Jun 22, 2015

The invasion of lionfish throughout Florida waters is a challenge to native Florida wildlife and to the ecosystems where they live. The state has organized derbies and training sessions on how to catch — and cook the fish — which have no natural predators here.

The FWC may offer an extra bounty for catching lionfish during this year's sport mini-season.
Credit NOAA's National Ocean Service/Flickr

This year, there may be another strategy in the battle against lionfish. The state Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission could reward lionfish hunters with an extra lobster during this year's two-day sport mini-season, scheduled for July 29-30.

Under a proposal scheduled for consideration at the commission's meeting in Sarasota Thursday, bug-hunters would be able to catch an extra lobster during mini-season after catching at least 10 lionfish. 

Under the proposal, the extra lobster could come only after all 10 lionfish had been caught and would be limited to one extra lobster per person per day.

Under current mini-season rules, the bag limit for spiny lobster is six per person per day in the Florida Keys and Biscayne National Park and 12 per person per day everywhere else.

The regular season for catching lobster, both commercially and recreationally, starts Aug. 6.