The 2012 recreational season for bay scallops, which was extended two weeks earlier this year, will close Tuesday, Sept. 25. The final day of harvesting is Sept. 24. (Photo credit: FWC)
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) extended the season temporarily in 2010 and 2011 to help alleviate economic hardships caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The season was extended permanently in June 2012. This extension will help increase business opportunities during a time of the year when other fisheries are closed and tourism has decreased.
The 2012 season began July 1. Before the change, the season was set to end Sept. 11. Surveys will be conducted after the season closes to assess the scallop population. Bay scallops can be recreationally taken in Gulf of Mexico state waters (shore to nine nautical miles) from the Pasco-Hernando County line northward to the west bank of the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County.
The recreational bag limit is two gallons of whole bay scallops or one pint of meat per person, per day, with a vessel limit of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops or a half-gallon of meat. There is no commercial take of bay scallops in Florida state waters.
Scallop harvesters can assist the FWC’s scallop researchers by completing an online survey, indicating where they harvest scallops, how many they collect and how long it takes to harvest them. FWC staff and some vendors in harvest areas also distribute postage-paid survey cards that collect similar data. Participants can email BayScallops@MyFWC.com to ask questions or send additional information. Harvesters are asked to submit all information for the 2012 season by Oct. 31.