NEW: The bay scallop population in St. Joseph Bay has declined severely due to impacts of red tide and abundance during the 2016 season will likely be too low to sustain and recover from an open season for scalloping this summer. To ensure the population can recover quickly, the FWC is considering options for the 2016 harvest season in state waters west of St. Vincent Island including St. Joseph Bay including a potential cancellation of the harvest season in that area.
Bay Scallop: Argopecten irradians
Florida Recreational Regulations:
||Bay Scallop Harvest Zone
|Minimum Size Limit
|Daily Bag Limit
2 gallons whole bay scallops in shell, or 1 pint of bay scallop meat per person
Maximum of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in shell, or 1/2 gallon bay scallop meat per vessel
||Open June 25 - Sept. 24
*Season opens the Saturday before July 1 unless July 1 falls on a Saturday, then the opening date would be July 1.
Commercial harvest prohibited.
Recreational harvesters need a Florida saltwater fishing license to harvest bay scallops unless they are 1. exempt from needing a license or 2. have a no-cost shoreline fishing license and are wading to collect scallops (i.e. feet do not leave bottom to swim, snorkel, or SCUBA).
Bay Scallop Harvest Zone:
Bay scallops may only be harvested in state waters from the Pasco-Hernando County line (near Aripeka - latitude 28 degrees, 26.016 minutes North) to the west bank of the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County (longitude 85 degrees, 25.84 minutes West).
It is illegal to possess bay scallops on waters outside open harvest areas. It is also illegal to land scallops outside open harvest areas. For example, it would be legal to take scallops from waters off the Hernando County coast, but it would be illegal to dock your boat in Pasco County with the scallop catch onboard.
- Legal Gear: Harvest permitted by hand or landing or dip net
State Waters Harvest Seasons
Links to more Bay Scallop information: