2019 bay scallop season is ending in Northern portions of Florida’s Gulf Coast, says the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
The season is closing for Dixie, Taylor, Gulf, Jefferson, Franklin, Wakulla, Levy, Citrus, and Hernando counties in September.
Closures will take place in a staggered fashioned as follows:
—On September 11, Dixie County and the portion of Taylor County that includes Dekle Beach, Keaton Beach and Steinhatchee will close bay scallop season.
—On September 16, Gulf County will close bay scallop season.
—On September 25, Franklin County through remaining Taylor County areas, and Levy through Hernando counties, including Carrabelle, Lanark, St. Marks, Cedar Key, Crystal River and Homosassa will close bay scallop season.
If you’re a recreational scalloper looking to finish 2019 bay scallop season on a high note, make sure to follow the legal regulations as established by FWC.
All recreational scallopers need a saltwater fishing license, unless otherwise exempt or operating under a shoreline fishing license that allows for wading. Commercial harvesting is prohibited.
Scallopers can use their hands or a net to catch scallops. Those with a saltwater fishing license may also use a snorkel or scuba gear, but no gear is required to enjoy recreational scalloping.
There’s a daily bag limit of “2 gallons of 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,” according to FWC’s website.
As seasons come to a close, direct transit of legally harvested scallops will be allowed in closed areas.
Additionally, the FWC has a special message for scallopers who want to contribute to the scientific advancement of Florida’s marine life:
“Help FWC’s scallop researchers by completing an online survey at SurveyMonkey.com/r/bayscallops. You will be asked a series of simple questions about where you harvested scallops, how many you collected and how long it took to harvest them. Participants can email [email protected] to ask questions or send additional information,” they said in a news release.