An Unusual Fishing “Tournament”!

Lionfish Invitational Kicks Off Sunday

The first ever lionfish removal event will be conducted at Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary next week in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) will be partnering with NOAA’s Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS), with support from the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (NMSF), Texas State Aquarium, Oregon State University, and Fling Charters, to use trained volunteer divers to help conduct research and remove invasive lionfish within the marine sanctuary on Aug. 31st – Sept. 3rd.

Collection permits have been issued for divers participating in the four-day lionfish research cruise on board the recreational dive charter M/V Fling. Reef fish surveys will be conducted and lionfish will be removed and dissected as part of the on-going lionfish research and management program at NOAA. Fish surveys will also be conducted outside of removal areas by research staff and volunteers on NOAA’s R/V MANTA.

This project seeks to engage community stakeholders in invasive lionfish control within the national marine sanctuary and protect the area from these invasive predators. For more information, contact

Stay tuned for a post-trip report on what we accomplished!

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About MikeH

Texas hunter and fisherman for 50 years, published outdoor writer since 1979, licensed charter boat operator from 1982 to 2013. Past Member, Board of Directors, National Association of Charterboat Operators, current member Environmental Advisory Committee to the DOE and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Married to Dorothy since 2000, one son, Michael who is recently married and living in Nederland, Texas. My wife and I live in Oyster Creek, Texas, near Freeport, and have a hunting property outside of Brazoria, Texas.
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