[Coral-List] Lionfish after the hurricanes?

Steve Gittings - NOAA Federal steve.gittings at noaa.gov
Sat Oct 21 09:54:08 EDT 2017

Vanessa - we just visited about 60 sites from Biscayne down to Key West,
doing damage assessment dives on various reef habitats from mid-channel to
the outer reefs down to about 90 feet.  Though visibility was not great
(usually around 20 feet, but ranging from about 2 to 50 at most sites), we
only saw a handful of lionfish.  I'll have to look at my notes, but
probably around 6 or 8 in total, with dives of about 40 minutes at each
site.  I didn't record sizes, but they didn't appear to be smaller than
usual.  I recall only thinking one was rather small, but not unusually so.


On Tue, Oct 17, 2017 at 3:36 PM, McDonough, Vanessa <
vanessa_mcdonough at nps.gov> wrote:

> Hi all,
> At Biscayne National Park, we have noticed that after Hurricane Irma
> passed, our lionfish are far fewer and much smaller than we were previously
> observing.  The reef sites where we consistently observed high numbers of
> lionfish now have very few (if any) lionfish.  Where we used to find fish
> that averaged 35-40cm long, we are lucky to find fish that are 25cm in
> length.  We have observed this across all depths and habitats in the park,
> from about 20ft to 70ft depth.
> I was just wondering if: a) anyone else has observed a similar trend and b)
> if anyone has any insight as to where the lionfish may have gone.  Has
> anyone had any deepwater observations to confirm if they retreated to
> deeper waters?
> Thanks,
> Vanessa McDonough, Ph.D.
> Fishery and Wildlife Biologist
> Biscayne National Park
> 9700 SW 328th St
> Homestead, FL 33033
> ph: 305-230-1144 ext 027
> fax: 305-230-1190
> _______________________________________________
> Coral-List mailing list
> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list

Dr. Steve Gittings, Science Coordinator
NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
1305 East West Hwy., N/ORM62
Silver Spring, MD  20910
(240) 533-0708 (w), (301) 529-1854 (c)

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