Bay Scallop Season Opens July 1

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Bay ScallopThe recreational harvest season for bay scallops begins July 1 and continues through Sept. 10.  Open scalloping areas on Florida’s Gulf Coast extend from the west bank of the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County to the Pasco-Hernando county line near Aripeka.

Bay scallops may be taken only within the allowable harvest areas.  It is illegal to possess bay scallops while you’re in or on state waters outside the open harvest areas, or to land bay scallops outside the open areas.

There is a daily limit of 2 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or 1 pint of bay scallop meat per person during the open season.  In addition, no more than 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or one-half gallon of bay scallop meat may be possessed aboard any vessel at any time.

You’re allowed to harvest bay scallops only by hand or with a landing or dip net, and bay scallops may not be harvested for commercial purposes.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) biologists review the status and health of the bay scallop fishery each year. 

“We are seeing recovery of scallop populations along the West Coast of Florida relative to their status in the early 1990s,” said Bill Arnold, an FWC research scientist.

“Harvesters should adhere to scallop-fishing regulations, especially the daily bag limit,” Arnold said.

You also should collect only the amount of bay scallops you are willing to clean.

More information on bay scallops is available online at MyFWC.com/marine/bayscallops.htm and http://research.myfwc.com/features/category_sub.asp?id=2598.