Invasive lionfish now spotted in Florida's Loxahatchee River

Lionfish are a venomous invasive species establishing themselves in Florida coastal waters. Most likely they were brought here by importers and by various circumstances are now loose in a new habitat. Shutterstock

Lionfish are a venomous invasive species establishing themselves in Florida coastal waters. Most likely they were brought here by importers and by various circumstances are now loose in a new habitat. Shutterstock

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Florida International University researchers say the invasive lionfish have now been found in the Loxahatchee River.

The candy-striped aquarium fish are native to the Indian and Pacific oceans, but have formed growing populations off the southeastern U.S., Bahamas and the Caribbean. They're wreaking ecological chaos because they eat important indigenous fish.

The FIU researchers say lionfish have now been seen nearly three miles inside the Loxahatchee.

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