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Florida

Saltwater Fishing

Lionfish

2021 Lionfish Challenge Results

The FWC is excited to announce the winners of the 2021 Lionfish Challenge. The sixth annual Lionfish Challenge boasted over 470 registered participants and 21,146 lionfish harvested.

The state-wide incentive program encouraged 185 participants to turn in lionfish from May 21 to Sept. 6, 2021; the highest participation since the Challenge’s inception in 2016.

The race to number one was tight this year, with only 157 fish separating the top three competitors in the recreational division, and only 72.6 pounds of lionfish separating the top three competitors in the commercial division. In the end though, two competitors prevailed.

Lionfish King: Brooks Feeser

Lionfish Champion

Brooks Feeser, a resident of Palm Beach County, removed 1,632 lionfish this summer, earning himself the title of 2021 Lionfish King. Brooks grew up an outdoorsman, hunting and fishing here in Florida. He began scuba diving only four years ago, but quickly trained up to be a PADI Divemaster. He is now a licensed charter captain and owns Fully Saturated, an all-inclusive saltwater company offering for-hire fishing, diving, and cruising charter services.

Commercial Champion: Rachel Bowman

Lionfish Commercial Champion

Rachel Bowman of Monroe County managed to harvest 730 pounds of lionfish this year, securing her first place in the Commercial Division and earning her the title of 2021 Commercial Champion. Rachel has been active in lionfish removal for many years and started selling lionfish commercially back in 2012. She has represented the agency as the Lionfish Huntress on our social media channels and in marketing, and, along with Team Florida Man, has taken first place more than once at tournaments associated with FWC’s annual Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day. Bowman is the first female to take first place in a Lionfish Challenge!

The winners were recognized at the October FWC Commission Meeting in St. Augustine. They were awarded with a custom wood-burned trophy created by Mokie Burns, as well as $150 for scuba tank air fills, and an HP 100 steel scuba cylinder.

Special thanks to all 51 business that served as checkpoints around the state this year. The Lionfish Challenge would not be possible without the help of these organizations.

To learn more about the Lionfish Challenge, as well as the rest of the FWC Lionfish Program, visit FWCReefRangers.com.

Recreational Division Winners

1st Place (Lionfish King): Brooks Feeser

1,632 lionfish

2nd Place: Carl Antonik

1,582 lionfish

3rd Place: Christina Raber-Jehn

1,475 lionfish

Commercial Division Winners

1st Place (Commercial Champion):
Rachel Bowman

730 lbs. of lionfish

2nd Place: Paul DeCuir

725 lbs. of lionfish

3rd Place: Alex Fogg

657 lbs. of lionfish