Bay scallop season to open early, close late this year
Monday, June 20, 2011
Media contact: Aaron Podey, 850-487-0554
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)
reminds people that the recreational harvest season for bay
scallops in Florida will begin June 25 and extend through Sept. 25.
The FWC, in support of Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet, added three
weeks to this year's season to help relieve Florida fishing
communities suffering from possible economic hardships due to the
2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
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. 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. 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 are allowed to harvest bay scallops only by
hand or with a landing or dip net. Bay scallops may not be
harvested for commercial purposes.
Unless otherwise exempt, you will need a regular Florida
saltwater fishing license when you use a boat to harvest scallops.
If you wade from shore, you will need a regular Florida
saltwater fishing license or a free resident shore-based
Divers and snorkelers are required to display a "divers-down"
flag (red with a white diagonal stripe) while in the water. Boaters
must stay at least 100 feet away from a divers-down flag in a
river, inlet or channel. In open waters, boaters must stay 300 feet
away from a divers-down flag.
During the season, scallop harvesters can assist 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 also email BayScallops@MyFWC.com
to ask questions or send additional information.
More information on
bay scallops, including management rules, dive-flag regulations
and boating safety is available online at MyFWC.com/Fishing (click on
"Regulations" under "Saltwater Fishing"). Information about scallop
research is available at MyFWC/Research/Saltwater
under the "Mollusc" section.