Wildlife - Lionfish
Lionfish are marine fish that are mainly red, brown and white and have a striped, zebra-like appearance. They grow to approximately 12-15 inches in length; however they have been noted to be larger in areas where they are not indigenous. The pectoral fins are long and showy, and with a row of long, dorsal spines. Each spine contains a venom gland in the distal third of the spine (but not at the tip). Lionfish venom causes pain but is rarely lethal.
Lionfish are an invasive species that threaten Florida’s saltwater fish and wildlife. The FWC encourages people to remove lionfish in Florida waters to limit negative impacts to native fish and wildlife. Lionfish can be speared, caught in hand-held nets or caught on hook and line.
Posted: Sunday, June 30, 2013 3:01 am
Updated: 10:26 am, Fri Aug 16, 2013.
NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — Spearfishing is now allowed in state waters in Collier County for the first time in more than 60 years.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says saltwater species can be targeted starting on Sunday with a spearing device. Among the species that can be speared is the nonnative invasive lionfish, which researchers say are having a major impact on Florida's native fish and wildlife.
The FWC recently repealed rules that prohibited spearing and using an artificial light while spearfishing or gigging in Florida state waters off Collier County.
The Collier Board of County Commissioners sent a letter to the FWC in February requesting these repeals after a lionfish was captured Jan. It was the first lionfish to be documented in state waters off the county.
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Sunday, June 30, 2013 3:01 am.
Updated: 10:26 am.