2021 Lionfish Festival May 15-16 in Destin


Vendors and Divers Wanted

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is excited to announce the 7th Annual Lionfish Removal and Awareness Festival, May 15-16, at AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar and HarborWalk Village. Come out and celebrate the fight against invasive lionfish with the FWC and Destin–Fort Walton Beach.

Last year, Niceville resident Donald C. Vautrinot beat the Gulf of Mexico record at 18.19 inches (462 mm) and was the new Florida state record holder for the longest lionfish caught in the Gulf of Mexico. The former Gulf of Mexico record of 18.07 inches.

Activities will include filet demonstrations, family-friendly games and activities, art, diving and conservation booths, and the world’s largest lionfish spearfishing tournament—and the Emerald Coast Open. Satisfy your taste buds by visiting any of the participating locations of Lionfish Restaurant Week (May 10-14) for your chance to try this delicious invasive species. Learn more by visiting FWCReefRangers.com.

Interested in having a booth at the event? Apply at fwcreefrangers.com. Booth spacing will be implemented to abide by COVID-19 guidelines to allow for safe social distancing.
Do you harvest lionfish? Register for the emeraldcoastopen.com.

Interested in being a volunteer or sponsor? Learn more at EmeraldCoastOpen.com.
The 2021 Lionfish Challenge removal incentive program will begin May 21 and continue through Labor Day, Sept. 6. More details on how to get rewarded for your harvest coming soon to FWCReefRangers.com.

What is Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day?
Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day (the first Saturday after Mother’s Day each year) raises awareness about lionfish; a nonnative, invasive species that has the potential to negatively impact native species and habitat.

Contact the FWC Division of Marine Fisheries Management at 850-487-0554 for more information.