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The Scallops are In!

The Scallops have Returned to Wakulla County!

first scallop 200{sidebar id=3}For the first time in at least five years, the scallops are in Apalachee Bay out of St. Marks.  Scallop season officially opened today, Sunday, July 1, and we decided to see for ourselves if there were any scallops out there. 

We left Oyster Bay at about 9:30 a.m., and went out about one mile east of the St. Marks Lighthouse.  There were already quite a few boats out there, and plenty of diver down flags in the water.  We anchored and jumped in, and had our limit within about an hour and a half.  We were in about four to six feet of water, so we had to dive, but that's half the fun!  By the time we headed back to the house, there were at least 100 boats out on the water.

Remember, if you plan to scallop, the FWC requires that you have a saltwater fishing license.  You can buy your license online at https://www3.wildlifelicense.com/fl/start.php.  The FWC website also has this to say about scallop regulations:

"Open harvest season for bay scallops along Florida’s gulf coast begins July 1 and runs through September 10.  State waters in the Gulf of Mexico open to scallop harvest extend 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 water 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."

"Recreational harvesters are limited to two gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell, or one pint of bay scallop meat, per day during the open season.  In addition, recreational scallopers may possess no more than 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell, or ½ gallon of bay scallop meat, aboard any vessel at any time.  Bay scallops may be harvested only by hand or with a landing or dip net.  They may not be harvested for commercial purposes."

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 Diving for scallops
  Last load of the day
     
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Beautiful!
Boats out off St. Marks Lighthouse
     
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Bowl of cleaned scallops
This scallop had a roommate!

 
This article originally published on July 1, 2007.

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