Bay scallop season starts June 28
Monday, June 23, 2014
Media contact: Amanda Nalley, 850-410-4943
Get your bay scallop bags and shucking tools ready, the recreational bay scallop season opens in Gulf of Mexico state waters (shore to 9 nautical miles) from the Pasco-Hernando county line to the west bank of the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County starting June 28, three-days earlier than the season was slated to start. The season will remain open through Sept. 24, with the first day of the closure on Sept. 25.
Governor Rick Scott asked the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to open the 2014 season early to provide additional opportunities to Florida’s residents and visitors, who flock to the coast to partake. The season is an economic draw to the coastal counties within the open region. This change is not expected to harm the scallop population.
All size limits and bag limits remain the same. The bag limit is two gallons of whole bay scallops or one pint of meat per person, per day, with a vessel limit of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops or a half-gallon of meat. Scallops may be collected by hand or with a landing or dip net.
Scallops cannot be taken ashore outside of the open area.
There is no commercial harvest for bay scallops in Florida.
Be safe when diving for scallops. Stay within 300 feet of a properly displayed divers-down flag when scalloping in open water and within 100 feet of a properly displayed divers-down flag if on a river, inlet or navigation channel. Boat operators traveling within 300 feet of a divers-down flag in open water or 100 feet of one on a river, inlet or navigational channel must slow to idle speed.
Done for the day? Help FWC’s scallop researchers by completing an online survey at http://svy.mk/bayscallops. Harvesters can indicate where they harvest scallops, how many they collect and how long it takes to harvest them. Participants can email BayScallops@MyFWC.com to ask questions or send additional information.
Learn more about our new index-based graph which illustrates long-term trends in the open and closed scalloping areas by visiting MyFWC.com/Fishing and clicking on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Bay Scallops.”