The Southwest Florida waterways are home to numerous non-native freshwater fish species. These nonnative fish may be causing detrimental changes to our native fish communities, particularly as the number of new species continues to increase. All but two of these fish were introduced illegally as the result of releases of unwanted pets and food fish, or due to the flooding of aquaculture ponds.

The Southwest Florida CISMA is hosting two Southwest Florida Non-Native Fish Round-Ups this year, one on April 28th at Sugden Park in Collier County, 4284 Avalon Drive Naples, FL 34112; and one on May 5th at Lakes Park in Lee County, 7330 Gladiolus Drive Fort Myers, FL 33908, to raise public awareness about the potential negative impacts of releasing non-native fish into Florida waters, and to encourage anglers to target these nonnative species for consumption. The Round-Ups will also gather data about non-native fish distribution and abundance that can assist with future management.

Each Round-Ups will be a two-day event open to teams of 1-4 anglers (shore or boat) fishing in the Southwest Florida CISMA area: Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades Counties. Check-in will be 5pm on Saturday, and weigh-in will begin at 4 pm on Saturday. Additionally, there will be a Kids Only Fishing Blitz at the Check In Locations from 4pm-6pm each Saturday. PRIZES will be awarded each weekend to the team catching the largest fish, largest aggregate catch, and largest aggregate catch during the Kids Fishing Blitz. A "Slam" prize will also be awarded to the team that catches the greatest number of diverse nonnative species between the two weekends.

REGISTRATION:

This is a team event with 1-4 anglers per team. ALL anglers must register online as individuals and include the Team name that you are on! All anglers must REGISTER HERE by 6:00 pm on the Thursday before (April 26th or May 3rd) your planned competition weekend. Anglers may register for BOTH weekends by April 16th. Registration is free, but we ask that you donate $10 when you check in, to help with costs.

There will be a Kids ONLY Non-Native Fishing Blitz (children 12 and younger) at each check-in location from 4pm-6pm on each Saturday: April 28th at Sugden Regional Park's Lake and May 5th at Lakes Regional Park's Lake. Please have children checked in by 4pm to hear rules.

EVENT INFORMATION:

The first 2018 Southwest Florida CISMA Nonnative Fish Round-Up will begin at 3pm on April 27th and end at 5 pm on April 28th;

The second 2018 Southwest Florida CISMA Round-Up will begin at 3pm Friday May 4th and end at 5pm on May 5th.

ALL ANGLER TEAMS MUST CHECK IN BY 4pm each Saturday OR BE DISQUALIFIED. TIP: Allow plenty of time for traffic - don't be late! There will be no check in before 3:00 pm each Saturday (April 28th and May 5th). Weigh scale stations will open at 4:00 pm on each Saturday.

CHECK-IN/WEIGH-INS: Scales will officially open at 4pm at the following locations: April 28th at Sugden Regional Park; May 5th at Lakes Regional Park.

ONLY nonnative fish are to be brought to the weigh-in and all nonnative fish must be dead and on ice to qualify, for more information on identifying non-native fish, click here for a Guide or click here and known locations, click here. We encourage anglers to keep and consume their catch after the weigh-in, but any remaining fish will be donated to the Naples Zoo. All anglers will be responsible to disclose specific locations (GPS coordinates preferred) of fish caught for the Florida nonnative fish database.

DEFINITION OF TEAMS: Youth Team, 1-4 anglers under the age of 16. Adults, 1-4 anglers 16 years and older. Adult and Youth anglers fishing as a team will be considered an Adult team. This is a fun, TEAM event. Please follow the honor system.

BOUNDARIES: Fishing for this event is permitted in all legal freshwater fishing areas in the Southwest Florida CISMA area (Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties).

WEATHER: The 2018 Southwest Florida CISMA Nonnative Fish Round-Ups are all-weather events. Anglers are responsible for monitoring the current local weather conditions and forecasts to determine if safe conditions exist for the boat, crew, anglers, and guests.

The 2018 Southwest Florida CISMA Nonnative Fish Round-Up Committee reserves the right to postpone the event and use a back-up date that will be posted here.

PRIZE CATEGORIES:

On BOTH April 28th and May 5th, there will be Team Prizes issued to 2 Adult Teams AND 2 Junior Teams in the following categories: Largest Nonnative Fish, and Most Weight of Nonnative Fish.

On BOTH April 28th and May 5th, there will be prizes for the 3 kids who bring in the most non-native fish during the Fishing Blitz.

On May 7th, there will be a Nonnative Slam Prize given to one Adult Angler and one Junior Angler who brings in the most diverse group of Non-Native Fish from BOTH weekends. This prize will be mailed to participants on Monday May 7th. *After the weigh-in is complete, winners will be announced. However, winners of the Non-Native SLAM will be announced on Monday May 7th. Results will be posted here by 5 pm on the Monday following each event.

FEDERAL AND STATE REGULATIONS: All fish must be caught in compliance with State of Florida regulations and only within legal fishing areas. Any person or boat without valid licensing or registration are in violation of state and or federal law and may have their fish disqualified at time of weigh-in. Native fish are not eligible for prizes.

GRASS CARP and BUTTERFLY PEACOCK: Possession of grass carp is illegal. Grass carp must be returned immediately to the water unharmed as they were released intentionally for aquatic plant control purposes. Butterfly peacock are protected under state law as a sportfish and are not an eligible species for this contest. To learn more about these species, please visit www.myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/profiles/freshwater/nonnatives/

WAIVER DISCLAIMER: It is expressly understood that participants in the 2018 Southwest Florida CISMA Nonnative Fish Round-Up enter at their own risk. Southwest Florida CISMA and all participating organizations, officers, event sponsors, committees and all other persons connected directly or indirectly with the operation of said event, shall be exempt from any liability what so ever for liable, slander, loss, damage, negligence, harm, injury, or death suffered by any participant, entrant, vessel, and equipment, companions, and guests, boat captains, mates, crewmembers, which may occur during or in conjunction with the 2018 Southwest Florida CISMA Nonnative Fish Round-Up. By submitting the official registration form, the boat owner, captain and mate(s), anglers and guests consent that Southwest Florida may use without payment or restriction, photographs or video footage, in which he or she may appear for any purpose whatsoever, including but not limited to resale, advertising, commercial or promotional material.

PROTEST: Any protest must be announced verbally at the time of the incident, at the weigh-in station.

PARTICIPANTS: Any and all participants entering the 2018 Southwest Florida CISMA Nonnative Fish Round-Up agree that all decisions made by the 2018 Southwest Florida CISMA Nonnative Fish Round-Up rules committee shall be final and binding in any manner requiring their action.