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Lionfish Panhandle Pilot Program ends soon

The Panhandle Pilot Program ends the day before the annual Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day Festival, which is May 20-21 at Plaza de Luna in Pensacola.[Pixabay.com]

Panhandle lionfish hunters have until May 19 to compete in the Panhandle Pilot Program. This yearlong lionfish-removal incentive program rewards divers for harvesting lionfish off Escambia through Franklin counties.

For every 100 lionfish removed, divers receive a tag that allows them to take an additional cobia or red grouper in state waters; they must use the tag before May 19.

The first 10 teams who remove 500 or more lionfish also qualify to name an artificial reef in the Panhandle. To date, six groups have qualified to rename an artificial reef.

The program ends the day before the annual Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day Festival, which is May 20-21 at Plaza de Luna in Pensacola.

Lionfish are open for harvest year-round and there are no bag or size limits.

Learn more about the Panhandle Pilot Program at MyFWC.com/Lionfish.

This article originally appeared on Santa Rosa Press Gazette: Lionfish Panhandle Pilot Program ends soon


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