JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- They're colorful, spiny and taking over our local waters.
"It's a fish that grows rapidly, reproduces abundantly and eats everything and has no predator," Joe Kistel said.
That's right. No predator, which is why local fishermen and marine leaders created the Northeast Florida Lionfish Blast Tournament.
Over a month's time, hunters snag as many as possible in effort to win a cash prize. On the flip side, FWC will use the dead fish for research.
Freida McAvoy has been fishing for 40 years. She says she won't be participating.
'Sounds dangerous. Doesn't sound like fun," she said.
Lionfish live in reefs offshore. The easiest way to catch them is with a spear, meaning hunters will have to dive.
So far in the tournament, the leader sits atop the list with 46 in one day. Conservationist Joe Kistel says when it comes to the ecosystem: that's a good thing.
"We are trying to do whatever we can to get as many of these fish out of the water as possible," he said.
There's still plenty of time to get in on the action. The tournament runs through April 28. There are number of prizes for placing in the tournament, with the top pot paying $1,000.