Scallop Season Summary and Report
The open harvest season is normally July 1 through September 10 of each year. In 2010 the FWC opened the scallop season 12 days early on Jun 19. The last day of the open season remained September 10th.
The Early Report and Beyond
A pre-season survey conducted in May 2010 by Dr. Stephen Geiger with the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) indicated that there were bay scallops counted in every sample in the Steinhatchee River monitoring site. There are 20 randomly selected stations in Steinhatchee, 10 located south of the river mouth off Dixie County, with an additional 10 north of the river mouth off Taylor County. The scallop densities were described as good, similar with similar 2009 records, but not exceptionally high as the 2008 data. Early reports from scallopers were good with high meat yield. Some weather and water clarity problems were reported later in the season, but those that were able to get out were still finding scallops into Labor Day weekend in September. A survey of boaters using area ramps, sponsored by Florida Sea Grant, found high ramp use on Saturday September 4th, particularly in Keaton Beach. Since it was the last weekend during bay scallop season, which closed on Saturday, September 11th, many scallop hunters were getting in their last few catches before the long closed season. Overall reports for the season were very good, with the usual increase in effort needed to catch limits as the season progressed.
Bay scallop harvest is only allowed in the Gulf of Mexico from north of the Pasco-Hernando County Line (28.26.016 North at the Aripeka boat ramp) and east and southeast of a line extending due south from the west bank at the mouth of Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County (85.25.84 West). It is illegal to possess bay scallops on the water outside of the allowable harvesting area (see map above).
Bay scallops shall only be harvested by hand or by or with the use of a landing or dip net. Each harvester of bay scallops is subject to a bag limit of 2 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or 1 pint of shucked bay scallop meat per day; provided, however, that no more than 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell, or ½ gallon of shucked bay scallop meat shall be possessed aboard any vessel at any time. (in any situation involving the simultaneous possession of whole bay scallops in the shell and shucked bay scallops meat, the meat possessed shall be converted to its “in the shell” equivalent by counting each pint of meat as 2 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell).
No person shall purchase, sell, or exchange any bay scallop, or harvest any bay scallop for commercial purposes (except bay scallops that have been legally harvested in another state and have entered Florida in interstate commerce, with proper paperwork).
- A Unique Florida Adventure: Scalloping in Steinhatchee at Visit Florida
- Recreational Harvesting of Bay Scallop at Florida Sea Grant
- Taylor County Scalloping
- How to Clean a Scallop
- Wilson's Bait and Tackle in Perry - (850) 584-6157
- Keaton Beach Marina at Keaton - (850) 578-2897
- Sea Hag Marina in Steinhatchee - (352) 498-3008