February 1 – May 13th, 2020
Pre-tournament Lionfish Turned In
Rules are Subject to Change. All changes to the rules shall be posted on the Emerald Coast Open (ECO) website and social media pages
Entry Fee is $75 per participant through March 31, 2020. On April 1, 2020, the entry fee will increase to $100 per participant. Registration and fees also include the main ECO tournament on May 14-17, 2020.
Friday, January 24
Pre-Tournament Kickoff Party
1835 Porch Bar –200 Harbor Blvd. Destin, Florida 32541
Don’t miss out on the Pre-Tournament kickoff party. Free food, including lionfish, giveaways, live music, and a lot of “sizing up the competition”. Learn what’s in store for the 2020 Emerald Coast Open. Party starts at 6pm.
Friday, February 1
Pre-Tournament Begins at first light
Wednesday, May 13
Pre-Tournament Ends. Last day to turn in lionfish for the Pre-Tournament.
Sunday, May 17
A. Registration will be available on the Emerald Coast Open website (EmeraldCoastOpen.com). All participants must read and understand the Pre-Tournament Rules prior to registering. Payment is due at time of registration. Payment and completed registration shall constitute a representation by each participant that he/she has read and fully understand the tournament rules and that he/she will abide by such rules and decisions of the tournament committee.
B. Non-refundable registration fees are $75 per participant for early registration through March 31, 2020, and $100 per participant thereafter.
C. Registration includes entry into both the Emerald Coast Open Pre-Tournament and main Lionfish Tournament.
D. Participants can register at any time during the pre-tournament months. To qualify for prizes and awards, registered participants must be registered and paid prior to turning in lionfish at designated drop-off locations.
E. The ECO Pre-Tournament is an individual competition. Lionfish must be harvested by the person credited for the harvest. No team aggregation of lionfish to one participant is allowed.
2. KICKOFF PARTY
A. The Pre-Tournament kickoff party will be January 24, 2020 from 6:00pm – 9:00pm at 1835 Porch Bar – 200 Harbor Blvd. Destin, Florida 32541.
Free food, including lionfish, giveaways, live music, and a lot of “sizing up the competition”. Learn what’s in store for the 2020 Emerald Coast Open.
3. ACCEPTABLE FISH
A. Lionfish (Pterois volitans/miles) eligible for entry may only be taken during the tournament months. No previously caught or frozen lionfish will be allowed, however, please keep all lionfish on ice.
B. Only legal means of capture in areas allowing use of those gear types will be allowed. All existing federal, state, and local laws must be followed.
C. All lionfish must be in whole condition (no missing heads or tails).
D. Lionfish harvested during the pre-tournament must be donated. Lionfish will be used for sampling, research or for consumption during the 3-day tournament event. Fish must be preserved on ice.
E. Protective gloves should be worn when handling lionfish. Participants are encouraged to carry appropriate first aid kit specific for Lionfish stings.
4. TURNING IN LIONFISH
B. Lionfish should be brought in properly iced for consumption and in coolers.
C. Lionfish will be counted and verified by staff at the designated drop-off locations. If participants are not present during the counting, they forfeit their ability to protest the accuracy of the count sheets.
D. Staff at the designated drop-off locations will take possession of the donated lionfish, and forward the count sheets to ECO Tournament staff to be included in the participant’s raffle entry count.
E. Participants should verify drop off times, especially when bringing in large amounts of lionfish.
F. If there is not a drop-off location in registered participants area and registered participants wish to participate in the pre-tournament, please contact Alex Fogg at (443) 995-6416 to arrange drop off.
5. TOURNAMENT AWARDS
A. Registered participants may compete in the ECO Pre-Tournament for raffle entries. Lionfish must be donated to receive raffle prizes. Registered participants will receive 2 raffle entries for the prize drawings during the Emerald Coast Open prize giveaway. There will also be a special drawing and prizes specific to pre-tournament raffle entry holders.
B. Raffle entries will be drawn electronically at the ECO Lionfish Tournament awards ceremony on 05/17/2020 at AJ’s on the Harbor in Destin, FL.
C. First three top prizes announced will be awarded to the pre-tournament category only. Participants do not need to be present to win the top three announced prizes. All other raffle drawings require participants to be present to win.
6. ADHERENCE TO TOURNAMENT RULES AND PROTESTS
A. The Lionfish tournament is an honor system tournament with all registrants being responsible for compliance with the rules.
B. Any violation of these rules resulting in disqualification will result in forfeiture of entry fee, prizes and cash awards, and at the sole discretion of the tournament officials, prohibited from entry in any future tournaments.
C. If non-compliance with tournament rules are suspected, the tournament committee reserves the right to conduct a polygraph. Without a successful polygraph the individual will forfeit all prizes.
D. All protests must be presented in writing along with a $500 deposit to the tournament committee no later than 15 minutes after results are posted on the final day of the tournament.
E. Tournament committee will refer to submitted count sheets for any protests relating to number of lionfish turned in.
F. Poor sportsmanship will be grounds for disqualification from this tournament.
7. PROMOTIONAL PURPOSES
A. All entrants agree to allow tournament officials and Emerald Coast Open to use participant’s name, awards, and photos for any media and promotional purposes
8. ALL DECISIONS OF THE TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR AND RULES COMMITTEE ARE FINAL.
Pre-Tournament Drop Off Locations
If you are particpating in the pre-tournament and do not see a drop-off location near you, or wouldl like to become a drop-off location, please contact Alex Fogg at (433) 995-6416.