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Statewide Fishing Tournament Targets Non-Native Species

Lionfish are among Florida's non-native species of fish. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

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The state’s first fishing contest targeting non-native species is this week.

The goal is to help researchers understand how many non-native fish are in Florida and where they are.

Organizers also want anglers targeting non-native fish.

Kelly Gestring is a biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. He says the state is home to at least 34 species of the fish.

“There’s always this opportunity of an angler catching new species that we’re unaware of or finding populations of fish that we know of in a particular spot, but they have for some reason shown up in a new spot.”

Florida Fish and Wildlife is organizing the contest with partners like the National Parks Service and Florida Invasive Species Partnership.

The contest extends through March 1.

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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment for WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s work has been heard on NPR and ... Read Full Bio »