BrianBM

Lionfish in Massachusetts?

Rate this topic

8 posts in this topic

There's an interesting thread in the Main Forum about lionfish right now. In poking around the internet, I found one map indicating that lionfish have been caught in Massachusetts. The site didn't indicate when or where. I'd guess that it happened in the August-September window when the Gulf Stream sends warm-core eddies towards the coastline.

 

If the ocean is indeed warming, then over time, they should turn up with increasing frequency. They like inshore waters and hard structure. Some anglers fish jetties for triggerfish in August and September; it wouldn't be at all surprising to see increasing numbers amidst the triggerfish catches. They're apparently very good to eat; but handle with extreme care. 

 

If they become even a semi-regular part of the Long Island partyboat scene, I'll invest in a pair of armored gloves, and long - handled shears for cutting off those damn spines.

 

So, has anyone on this Forum seen any lionfish come over the rail?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We'd rather not have them on this side of the Panama Canal. We'd rather not have silver carp, Asian shore crabs, quagga mussels, etc., but we got 'em, so we might as well figure out what to do with them. 

 

So, has anyone seen one in Massachusetts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, BrianBM said:

We'd rather not have them on this side of the Panama Canal. We'd rather not have silver carp, Asian shore crabs, quagga mussels, etc., but we got 'em, so we might as well figure out what to do with them. 

 

So, has anyone seen one in Massachusetts?

I wonder if the seals would eat them. No natural predators down south, but I would imagine a seal may be able to accomplish that feat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not seen one. 

I believe divers in RI hunting for tropical strays have collected several.

 

Like the other true tropical strays like butterflyfish and damsal fish, any lionfish that reaches New England is a helpless egg or larva drifting at random on the Gulf Stream.

In a warm summer an early arrival can live a few months and grow to decent size.

However, unlike triggers, rudders, jacks etc which are NOT strays, lions would have no way to migrate back to warmer water.

They would die in winter like all the strays do.

 

I don't know lionfish temperature limits but I believe global warming would have to be way worse than predicted for them to survive winter in Ma.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You had better hope that they never come here.  A few Lionfish released from aquariums in Fl have multiplied and spread across the Carribean and up to NC.  They are voracious eaters and have decimated the reefs of juvenile fish everywhere they spread.  There were plans about getting scuba divers to spear them and tempt skarks to eat them, training the sharks to view them as food, but the numbers make it pretty impossible.   A small research sub spotted one down 800 feet off the continental shelf.  They are bad news.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Boss at work is a serious scuba diver and he goes Lionfish hunting (speargun) with a bunch of other people.  Kills a lot of them but doesn't even make a dent in the population.  

 

Once they're here, they will always be here...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 mins ago, clambellies said:

You had better hope that they never come here.  A few Lionfish released from aquariums in Fl have multiplied and spread across the Carribean and up to NC.  They are voracious eaters and have decimated the reefs of juvenile fish everywhere they spread.  There were plans about getting scuba divers to spear them and tempt skarks to eat them, training the sharks to view them as food, but the numbers make it pretty impossible.   A small research sub spotted one down 800 feet off the continental shelf.  They are bad news.

Exactly!  Very well documented down south, they DECIMATE other species and in short order.  They also multiple at an exponential level

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.