Mark your calendars: 2022 Lionfish Festival scheduled in Destin

Special to Gannett / USA TODAY NETWORK

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is excited to announce the eighth annual Lionfish Removal and Awareness Festival. Come out and celebrate the fight against invasive lionfish with the FWC and Destin–Fort Walton Beach.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Destin-Fort Walton Beach will host a fishing festival to get rid of invasive lionfish in Northwest Florida.

Activities will include fillet demonstrations; family-friendly games and activities; art, diving and conservation booths; and the world’s largest lionfish spearfishing tournament, the Emerald Coast Open.

The event is May 14 and 15 at HarborWalk Village in Destin.

Lionfish caught during a previous fishing festival are pictured. They will be preapred and served at area restaurants.

Satisfy your taste buds by visiting any of the participating locations of Lionfish Restaurant Week (May 8-14) for your chance to try this delicious invasive fish. Learn more by visiting FWCReefRangers.com.

Fishing line recycling

Have old fishing line laying around that you need to get rid of? Bring it with you to the festival and drop it off at one of our monofilament collection bins to be recycled. Learn more about FWC’s Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program (MRRP).

What is Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day?

A 2015 Resolution declared the first Saturday after Mother’s Day each year as Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day. FWC hosts the Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day (LRAD) Festival on this date each year to continue to raise awareness about the lionfish invasion.

The two-day festival is typically headquartered in the Panhandle with satellite events sometimes occurring around the state. The festival brings in thousands of visitors each year to learn about lionfish, taste samples, and enjoy a variety of events and vendors.

Questions? Contact the FWC Division of Marine Fisheries Management at 850-487-0554.

Links

  • Support Florida lionfish control programs by purchasing new Rep Your Water lionfish hats at the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida website, https://bit.ly/3kqeFnL.
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fwcreefrangers.
  • Website: FWCReefRangers.com
  • MyFWC.com/Lionfish