Treasure Coast Lionfish Safari – June 7-9

During last year’s safari, 357 lionfish were removed from Treasure Coast waters by six teams and one individual diver. Photo credit: MaryAnn Ketcham.

Captain Don’s 7th annual Treasure Coast Lionfish Safari and Festival: June 7-9. Divers Wanted!

The invasive Indo-Pacific lionfish has moved onto our near-shore reefs, into our inlets and is taking over our Indian River Lagoon and St. Lucie River.  This fish multiplies quickly, reaches reproductive age much faster than our native species, and eats nearly everything in sight. This event succeeds in helping scientists gather important research information, greatly reduces the number of lionfish in our local water and near shore reefs while increasing public knowledge and offering an opportunity for all to taste this delicious fish.

During this event, registered teams can take lionfish without a permit in any waters within Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin counties.  Boat captains, fishermen and divers from throughout Florida and beyond are welcome to register for cash prizes up to $2,000.

The event will be held once again at Veterans Memorial Park, 600 Indian River Drive, Fort Pierce.

June 8-9 a festival will be held featuring live music, kids’ activities, food, full bar, lionfish tastings and educational activities. Non-divers are welcome to join the fun and watch the weigh-in and enjoy a great fun and educational event.

All proceeds from this event are awarded to the first, second and third-place dive teams in three categories: most lionfish, largest lionfish, and smallest lionfish.


Friday, June 7

Mandatory Captain’s meeting will be held at Sailfish Brewery, 5:30 p.m., followed by a team party

Saturday, June 8

Sunrise to 4 p.m. – Safari
4 p.m. – Optional weigh-in for anyone not available on Sunday
12 p.m. (noon) to 7 p.m. – Festival

Sunday, June 9

Sunrise to 4 p.m. – Safari
4 p.m. – Weigh-in
5 p.m. – Awards Ceremony
6 p.m. – Main Raffle
1-7 p.m. – Festival

Sponsors are still being sought.  Vendors are invited to sign up for booth space. For more information, including sponsorship opportunities, vendor space, tournament schedule, entry fees, and/or rules, visit