FWC News Release
Media contact: Carli Segelson, 772-215-9459; Lisa Thompson, 727-896-8626
Want the opportunity to win prizes while helping to document and remove nonnative freshwater fish from Florida’s waters? Consider participating in the second statewide Nonnative Fish Catch, Click and Report Contest, coordinated by the Florida Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and partners. The 2016 contest kicks off at 6 a.m. on April 1 and runs until midnight on April 30.
Participating is easy — anglers simply take a photo, enter detailed catch location or GPS coordinates, and report nonnative freshwater fish catches to IveGot1.org during the contest sample period. Catches can also be reported by downloading the IveGot1 app, by calling 888-IVE-GOT1 (888-483-4681), or by posting photos and catch data to your Instagram account.
“Florida is home to at least 34 species of reproducing exotic fish and new species continue to be found, which can impact native fish communities,” said FWC biologist Kelly Gestring. “By removing and reporting nonnative fish, anglers help manage populations of exotic species and help conserve our state’s precious natural resources.”
The contest is part of a continuing effort to raise awareness of nonnative fish species and encourage anglers to target nonnative fish for consumption by the FWC and partners, including the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Florida Invasive Species Partnership, University of Georgia and Everglades Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area. Partners plan to hold the event annually with the help of anglers acting as citizen scientists.
The Nonnative Fish Catch, Click and Report Contest is open to all licensed or legally exempt anglers in Florida. There is no entry fee and prizes will be awarded. Entries can be submitted throughout the contest period and final submissions must be made by midnight on Saturday, April 30. For more information on the contest rules, regulations and prizes, go to www.FloridaInvasives.org/CatchClickReport.
To register and start submitting reports visit www.IveGot1.org
or download the free reporting app for your smartphone by searching for IveGot1 in the app store. You can also report your catch by posting your photos and catch data to your Instagram account – be sure to tag #ivegot1. You may also enter by calling the Exotic Species Hotline at 888-IVE-GOT1 (888-483-4681) and informing the operator that you are participating in the contest.
More information on nonnative freshwater fish and other exotic species can be found at www.My.FWC.com/nonnatives.