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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
Mikel_24
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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
LionfishStabber
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Re: Lion fish population declining?

Quote:
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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