Calling all lionfish hunters! The 2021 REEF Lionfish Derby Series will kick off with the 8th Annual "Locals" Lionfish Derby on April 23-25 in Key Largo. This Earth Day Lionfish Derby will allow participants to practice social distancing while encouraging the removal of invasive lionfish from Florida Keys waters.
Teams of two to four people may register online here. Registration is $75 per team through April 10 and $100 per team through April 23. A mandatory Captains’ Meeting will be held virtually on Friday, April 23. Derby participants may hunt for lionfish from sunrise to sunset on Saturday, April 24. Fishing is permitted throughout the waters of Monroe County, Florida only. There will be a contactless drop-off station at the REEF Campus in Key Largo. Drop off times are scheduled on Saturday, April 24 from 4-7PM and Sunday, April 25 from 7-10AM. All fish must be dropped off by 10AM on Sunday.
Cash prizes will be awarded to the teams who harvest the most, largest, and smallest lionfish. Upon registration, teams may choose to compete in two divisions for the Most Lionfish category: Apex Predators (more competitive, higher prize money) or Reef Defenders (more casual, lower prize money). Don’t have a boat? Local dive charters are available through Rainbow Reef Dive Center, Pirates Cove Watersports, and Islamorada Dive Center. Interested participants should contact local dive shops directly to book dives.