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Register to Become a Scallop-Sitter

Project Goal

To increase depleted Panhandle scallop populations in some bays and reintroduce scallops in other suitable areas from which scallops have disappeared. This work is funded by a NRDA grant for St. Joseph Bay, St. Andrew Bay, and St. George Sound only.

If you want to view a video providing an overview of bay scallop biology, the fishery, and our restoration program, including a demonstration on how to care for your scallops, view our  Scallop Restoration Webinar video.

What is a Scallop Sitter?

Scallop Sitters are volunteers that maintain cages with up to 50 bay scallops from June through January in St George Sound, St Joseph Bay, and St. Andrews Bay. On a monthly basis, these volunteers check, count, and clean their cages and scallops. Each volunteer will receive 1 cage, 1 bucket of scallops, tools to maintain cages, instructional materials, and some fun giveaways.

Volunteer Requirements

To become a Scallop Sitter, you need to meet the following requirements.

  1. Have no FWC violations on your record
  2. Live near St. Andrew Bay, St. Joseph Bay, or St. George Sound
  3. Have access to the bay: via private dock, boat, or kayak
    • Cage locations are restricted in St. Andrews Bay & St. George Sound, please check the maps below to see if your location is okay
  4. Must count & clean scallops once a month from June – January. This can be messy, labor-intensive work.
  5. Register through the UF Pace platform before May 25, 2023
  6. Watch virtual training video following registration & complete the program pre-survey
  7. Be able to pickup scallops, cages and supplies on pickup dates & times listed below:
    • St George Sound (Franklin County)
      • Date: Thurs 6/1/23
      • Time: 10am – 1pm EST
      • Location: FSU Coastal & Marine Lab Boat Ramp
    • St Joseph Bay (Gulf County)
      • Date: Thurs 6/8/23
      • Time: 10am – 1pm EST
      • Location: St Joseph Buffer Preserve Visitor Center
    • St Andrews Bay (Bay County)
      • Date: Thurs 6/15/23
      • Time: 10am – 1pm CDT
      • Location: Bay County Extension Office

 

Volunteer Registration

Register using the UF pace platform links below. Please note, registration closes on May 25, 2023. Please register early so you don’t miss your chance!

  • Franklin County Scallop Sitters (not open yet, check back in February)
  • Gulf County Scallop Sitters (not open yet, check back in February)
  • Bay County Scallop Sitters (not open yet, check back in February)

Once you have registered up, you will be sent links to

  1. Provide DOB information required for the permit
  2. Complete the program pre-survey
  3. View the virtual training video

If you do not complete these final 3 steps, you will not be permitted to pickup scallops and supplies.

If you are having trouble registering, please email bayscallops@myfwc.com.

Cage Location Maps

St George Sound: Scallop Sitter cages are only allowed in the outlined portion of St. George Sound since this area is most suitable for scallop survival. Includes seagrass beds around Lanark reef, Dog Island, Turkey Pt Shoal and Dog Island Reef.

map of St. George Sound with an area outlined in black showing area where scallop cages can be placed

St Andrews Bay: Scallop Sitter cages are only allowed in the highlighted portion of the bay (between the Hathaway Bridge and the Dupont Bridge) since this area is most suitable for scallop survival.

Map of St. Andrews Bay, Florida. A portion of the waterway is colored blue between the Hathaway Bridge and the Dupont Bridge to show where scallop cages are allowed.