Lionfish hunters, mark your calendars and plan to join us for the 2022 REEF Florida Keys Lionfish Derby & Festival on Sept. 8-11. Registration is now open, and teams of 2-4 people can register online here. The 13th annual event includes two full days of fishing and a public festival at Postcard Inn Beach Resort & Marina in Islamorada. The public festival is family friendly and includes scoring and lionfish tastings, educational demos, games, crafts, raffles, and activity booths from arts and conservation vendors. For more information, visit www.REEF.org/derby.
We recently kicked off the 2022 Lionfish Derby season with the annual Earth Day Lionfish Derby on April 22-24. Teams were permitted to fish in Monroe County waters only, from sunrise to sunset on April 23. Although windy conditions prevented most teams from getting on the water, Team Forever Young brought in 426 fish, which set a record for a single-day REEF Lionfish Derby held in the Florida Keys. The largest lionfish of the competition measured 425 mm, and the smallest lionfish was 102 mm.
REEF Lionfish Derbies educate the public about invasive species, gather important scientific information on lionfish populations, and promote a consumer market for lionfish. 2022 is the 13th year that REEF has hosted a Lionfish Derby in the Upper Florida Keys. During a REEF Lionfish Derby, prizes are awarded to teams who bring in the most, largest, and smallest lionfish To date, more than 60,000 lionfish have been removed from REEF-supported derbies, outreach and research programs.