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Thread: What to do if I see a lionfish in GOM?

 


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    What to do if I see a lionfish in GOM?

    I've never seen a lionfish in the wild, and I am wondering what I should do if I run across one in the Gulf of Mexico. Is it beneficial and legal to dispatch them anywhere along the US Gulf Coast? How do they react when being hunted? Will they strike in self defense? What's the safest way to dispatch them, spear them with a spear and drop the carcass to the bottom? How long should a spear be?

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    I got yelled at trying to knife one. A spear is probably much safer than a knife. Sorry, that's all I know. :-/

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    Just use a short pole spear with a paralyzer tip. Make sure the lionfish is dead and if you do not want to take it home, then push it off the tip with something other than your hand and let the ocean fish have something to eat. Lionfish are very tasty and compare very favorably with hogfish and can be prepared in any number of ways. For more info, just google lionfish recipes. Good luck hunting.

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    It is beneficial and legal to kill them not only in the gulf, but pretty much anywhere. The only exceptions may be sanctuary type areas that do not allow any hunting at all. YourLDS should be able to let you know if there are any areas near you where it is not OK, but as invasive species, they are on NOAA's official hitlist and they are a federal agency.

    Some people say we're all just wasting our time and that we'll never get rid of lionfish now that they are hear and spreading and that may be true, but I feel that each one killed allows a handfull of young reef fish to live a bit longer.

    As for their reaction when hunted, the spines are completely defensive, they do not attack with them. If you spear the fish, it's game over anyway. If you miss, that fish will disapear almost every time. If they've been missed before, like some of the ones near popular snorkeling beaches here, they get wary of people.

    I second the pole spear with a paralyzer tip. The three-pronged tip keeps the fish from sliding down the shaft toward your hand an keeps the fish from spinning around for the next part. I cary a pair of medical trauma shears and just snip the long dorsal (top) and pectoral (side) fins while the fish is still on the spear. then You can grab it without worry and put it on a stringer or in a bag.

    You can get a surprisingly large fillet off lionfish bigger than about 8". I use my hand as guide. If it's bigger than my hand, it gets eaten, if not it gets killed and left behind.
    Good Luck and Good Diving: What goes down must come up.
    Jon


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    If im not mistaken NOAA had recently done a trip to the Texas Flower Gardens to just hunt Lionfish. They are trying to kill as many as they can. I over heard some Scientific divers talking about it here at TAMUG

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    as for the behaviour, they will just wait to be killed

    really dumb fish
    laguna230diver@yahoo.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by laguna230diver View Post
    as for the behaviour, they will just wait to be killed

    really dumb fish

    But they will get smart if you miss them. I see that here around the beaches where everyone with a new pole spear goes to try it out. When the lionfish see you coming they disapear. Still shot a few of those shy ones too though!
    Good Luck and Good Diving: What goes down must come up.
    Jon


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ottoman Diver View Post
    If im not mistaken NOAA had recently done a trip to the Texas Flower Gardens to just hunt Lionfish. They are trying to kill as many as they can. I over heard some Scientific divers talking about it here at TAMUG
    You are mistaken. No lionfish have been seen yet at the Flower Gardens, they were on Sonnier Bank (or 3 hickey rock, or whatever it's called). The TAMUG crew went out on the Fling and whacked the little guys. The lionfish are resting in pieces.
    Capt Frank Wasson
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