Lionfish Removal And Awareness Day 2018 Results
This year the 4th annual Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day was held at a new venue, The Flora-Bama on Perdido, Key. The venue was a big hit with the crowd, organizers, sponsors, shooters, and vendors. One of the best features of the Flora-Bama was using the marina for boats to bring in fish and teams of shooters. After all a fishing tournament needs a marina based venue, and the Flora-Bama more than abides. The staff are amazing people to work with and beyond helpful.
Teams have been out all month shooting lionfish and stacking up numbers in the pre tournament section of the Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day. This is a three day event, but the work doesn’t stop there.
After LRAD was all said and done, Alex Fogg was busy all day entering the data of all the lionfish collected and checked in at LRAD. He has to manually enter the length of each fish for each team on a spread sheet, which is transferred from the written sheets used at check in. That is a lot of work when you consider the numbers of fish brought in just in those two days. I know, I weighed them all. All of the lionfish are measured from the largest to the smallest. There is a category for the smallest lionfish and of course the largest. No one broke the Gulf record, but Houston George caught the largest lionfish during LRAD, 435 mm (17 1/8 inches).
The official count of lionfish removed from the Gulf by the pre-tournament and LRAD was 13,675 lionfish. The pre tournament numbers were 4,056, and on the LRAD weekend the total for those two days was 9,619 lionfish. During LRAD, lionfish were brought to the scales, measured, weighed, and then sent to market through Halperns. “The total weight of lionfish for LRAD was 5,100 pounds and change.” .. Allie McCarthy representative from Halpern. It took a village to measure, record and weigh these fish, then that truck packed with lionfish headed to market.
Now we wait for final team counts and the official numbers …
Alex Fogg … “I’ve been entering data for about four hours. Give me another two, and I will have some numbers for you. So far lined up head to head it is over a mile of fish!” Hours later I get a message. “The sum of all of the lionfish lengths is 2,457,099 mm = 1.53 miles”
“Lionfish are bad” .. Alex Fogg
Twenty four teams brought fish to the scales at LRAD. The Florida Man team kept the scales busy. We started counting and weighing Josh Livingston’s fish at 8 am and it lasted until the scales were done a little after noon. Teams were lined up at the scales starting at 8 AM on Sunday. The volunteers emptied coolers, recorded the length of each fish, and then put them in buckets. The fish were separated in lengths of small and large. The buckets were then weighed and the fish were put on ice in the big truck. When it was all said and done …
Team Florida Man brought 2,403 lionfish to the scales during Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day. During the pre tournament they removed 416 lionfish from the Gulf. The Florida Man team took first place followed by …
It was great year for the Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day 2018. An incredible new venue, the most fish they have ever culled during this event, and a good time had by all removing an invasive species in the Gulf. There is a lot more to go get and the teams are already planning for next year. Save a reef, eat a lionfish!