Red Lionfish danger to Louisiana waters

Thursday, March 31, 2011 - 5:14pm

An exotic fish spotted on the Louisiana coast is causing concern for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. I's the Red Lionfish, and although beautiful, it has a stinging touch.

The long spines on its back are actually filled with venom. If stung, you could feel intense throbbing or even drops in your blood pressure. Jason Adriance of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries tells NBC33 News that there have been six sighting of the fish off the coast of Louisiana since September.

“They are an ambush predator, with little known predators of their own,” he explained when detailing why the fish has been labeled as an invasive species. “The biggest thing to remember is that if you see them, to avoid touching them, and to contact the Wild Life and Fisheries and let them know. They need to be handled very carefully.”

Although dangerous to touch, the fish is edible.

“You can clean the spines off and filet it like a regular fish,” he explained. “But they have to pre prepared carefully.”

However, Adriance urges anyone who catches one of these fish to avoid de-hooking. He says that instead you should cut the line, but avoid putting it back in the water. Then, contact Wildlife and Fisheries at (225) 765-2800.

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