Ft. Pickens Lionfish Survey Dive
Details & Itinerary
Lionfish have consistently been reported within the boundaries of the Fort Pickens Area of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Working with Florida Sea Grant on a research permit issued by the National Park Service, we will be conducting monitoring and removal dives of the invasive lionfish. We will be conducting monitoring/removal dives in 2022, with the final two dives this December. Each event will be limited to 12 volunteer divers and 3 beach support volunteers (non-divers are welcome to assist here!)
Each event will be precluded by a training session the day before the monitoring event. Each participant must attend a training session.
Start time for the removal events will be dependent on the daily tide. Each month will be slightly different.
Divers will meet outside the park at Park West on the north side of the parking lot. We will go in as a group to the land headquarters.
What Should I Bring?
Each diver needs to provide their own personal dive gear, including a compass, Surface Marker Buoy/Safety Sausage (You can rent from the dive shop if you do not own your gear), transportation to and around Fort Pickens, and a great attitude. We provide all lionfish specific hunting gear and monitoring supplies, including a zookeeper and polespear. You might want to get some gloves with nitrite palms. This gives you a better grip on the polespear underwater.
Can I bring lionfish home?
Because this is a removal event related to a research permit, all fish must remain with the permit holders.
Volunteer divers need to be at least Open Water diver certified, have a minimum of 25 logged dives, with at least 1 dive in the last year, and one being in the ocean. Removal divers must have some experience hunting lionfish. You dont have to be an expert, but you need to be proficient with your bouyancy and skill with a polespear and zookeeper.
2023 Lionfish Survey Dates
We are waiting on our extension of our Research Permit. As soon as we recive it from the NPS, we will have dates available to volunteer. Subscribe to our email newsletter below for announcement of dates for 2023