3/22/11

Lionfish in St. Croix, USVI Story


I recently went back home to the virgin islands after a hiatus for school and such. It was the first time I had been back in a year and was surprised to see lionfish roaming the reefs. I had heard that they had a arrived but my father and others hadn't seen them yet. Long story short is I am appalled to see how effective their invasion has been, and have recently taken up the hobby of eradicating them (I am happy to hear that they are good to eat and next time I am down will have to cook some up).
I was only down for 5 days for spring break and am 4/7 in my endeavor, on the two dives I brought my spear. Enclosed is the photos of three I brought back to the dock, the other one swam off my spear while I was hunting its brother. Those three were found at 80 feet on the westend of St. Croix North of Sandy Point and the other 4 were found at ~20 feet on the Westend South of Ham's Bluff. I did find 4-5 more at 60 feet in front of the RCA building on the reef with the fiber cables, but didn't have my spear on that dive.
It scares me to see them so well distributed in the water column, and to hear storys of a diver nabbing ~50 of them in one outing on the Southside of the island. Overall the reef looked very healthy am just hoping that the next time I go back it will still be as healthy.
-Stephen

1 comment:

wReggie said...

Unfortunately I saw quite a few back in February. The biggest were in the shallows at Hamms Bluff. We shot some in the harbor at various moorings like Eagle Ray and Scotch Banks. I'll be down again in June with more divers and guns.