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Invasive Species Spearfishing & Science Discuss invasive exotic species such as lionfish, carp, snakehead, etc. including news, spearfishing and scientific research in any geographical region.

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Old 06-17-2018, 08:52 AM   #1
ARK
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Lion fish population declining?

Observation from my neck of the waters ( Sebastian Inlet): noticed significant decline of Lion fish population. When we started targeting them couple of years ago we used to get 75-100 lbs a trip. Over last couple of weeks we only got 5-10 lbs. We used to see them on every dive, now we see them every 2-3 dives and usually a couple of fish on the reef. Are our removal efforts so efficient or some other factors are taking tool on their population? Please, post your observations.
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Old 06-20-2018, 02:02 AM   #2
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Re: Lion fish population declining?

It is hard to believe that the spearo's efforts actually have any impact on the population of those creatures. They breed sooooo quickly that I think it is just impossible to lessen their population, given that they don't seem to have natural predators (on the northern hemisphere, that is).

Besides, they are supposed to live up to 1100feet down... spearos, even scuba, rarely go lower than 250feet if I am not mistaken. Much less for freedivers.

So... if you see a decrease in population, then it must be something else!
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Old 06-20-2018, 06:30 AM   #3
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Re: Lion fish population declining?

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Originally Posted by Mikel_24 View Post
It is hard to believe that the spearo's efforts actually have any impact on the population of those creatures. They breed sooooo quickly that I think it is just impossible to lessen their population, given that they don't seem to have natural predators (on the northern hemisphere, that is).

Besides, they are supposed to live up to 1100feet down... spearos, even scuba, rarely go lower than 250feet if I am not mistaken. Much less for freedivers.

So... if you see a decrease in population, then it must be something else!
I think it's pretty clear that concentrated hunting can keep a lid on them. I notice that when I dive on well-trafficked reefs like Juno Ledge I have an extremely hard time finding any. It's only when I go deep or off the beaten path that I see them in numbers. In FL basically every boatload of recreational divers is going to have at least one person onboard with a pole spear, so popular dive sites are pretty clean.

You're right that they're more or less untouchable in deep water, and that is a problem. However, if the lionfish population can be kept in check on the reefs at say, 120' and shallower that protects a lot of recruitment habitat for native fishes. It'll at least buy some time for either humans or nature to figure out how to pick off the deeper infestations.
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Old 02-14-2019, 02:21 AM   #4
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Re: Lion fish population declining?

Just keep on shooting them and turning them into burgers, the recipe is right here.
http://www.spearboard.com/showthread.php?t=198355
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Old 04-18-2019, 12:38 AM   #5
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Re: Lion fish population declining?

Maybe a Lionfish Burger Day Hunt could be organized where the catch is cooked for the participantís consumption as well as for the attending members of the general public. To have something to cook a stock of flesh could be built-up prior to the event and supplemented with hot dogs and other snacks and beverages. Have a depth division for scuba divers mowing down those skulking in the depths while freedivers work over the upper reefs. Competition by accumulated catch weight with no size restrictions on what is shot, in other words open slather.
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:47 PM   #6
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Re: Lion fish population declining?

I did 3 days of diving in a few areas in the Bahamas on healthy reefs and limestone outcroppings in 5 to 40 ft depth. I don't recall seeing ONE lionfish.

Their populations in various areas are being impacted by something significant and it does not involve culling from divers. Pretty amazing really.
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:40 PM   #7
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Re: Lion fish population declining?

It is possible that bottom dwelling sharks have learnt to eat lionfish that they have not been accustomed to before and once they have sampled a few other sharks in their species follow suit. The Wobbegong Sharks will eat anything that hovers too close and will fit in their big mouth at a stretch and there must be similar sharks in your local waters. Incidentally Wobbegong Sharks are only said to grow to about 7 feet, but I have swum over monsters bigger than me on the bottom, and that includes my fins, whose beady eyes have been sizing me up as I glided by about 6 feet away. Naturally once I spotted the camouflaged monster I opened the distance pronto!
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:15 AM   #8
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Re: Lion fish population declining?

put $3 a lb or more on a fish and unlimited fishing and it will disappear. we have experienced that same effect on the supposedly rebuilt grouper fishery in the Gulf.

this is only updated to 2017 but it's clear that our fishery is being mismanaged.

historical landings in the Gulf of Mexico




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Old 06-17-2019, 10:10 PM   #9
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Re: Lion fish population declining?

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Originally Posted by fishkilla View Post
put $3 a lb or more on a fish and unlimited fishing and it will disappear. we have experienced that same effect on the supposedly rebuilt grouper fishery in the Gulf.

this is only updated to 2017 but it's clear that our fishery is being mismanaged.

historical landings in the Gulf of Mexico




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It's $5.00/lb up here in the panhandle. We had a hard time finding 20 lbs this weekend hitting about 7 spots total. Granted there was a big tournament last month that removed about 19,000 lbs of them up here.

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