Bay scallop season opens July 1 in Franklin-Jefferson, a portion of Taylor County & Levy-Hernando

Recreational bay scallop season for Franklin through the northwestern portion of Taylor, as well as Levy, Citrus and Hernando counties opens July 1 and will remain open through Sept. 24. This includes Carrabelle, Lanark, St. Marks, Cedar Key, Crystal River and Homosassa.

Do not discard scallop shells in inshore waters commonly used for recreational activities such as the Homosassa River or Crystal River. Piles of discarded scallop shells can create hazards for swimmers and damage seagrass habitat. Scallop shells can be discarded in trash receptacles or in larger bodies of water where they are more likely to disperse.

Bag limits and other regulations

Bag and vessel limits for 2019 throughout the entire bay scallop harvest zone are 2 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or 1 pint of bay scallop meat per person, with a maximum of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or a 1/2 gallon bay scallop meat per vessel.

Scallops may be collected by hand or with a landing or dip net.

There is no commercial harvest allowed for bay scallops in Florida.

Direct and continuous transit of legally-harvested bay scallops is now allowed through closed areas. Boaters may not stop their vessels in waters that are closed to harvest and must proceed directly to the dock or ramp to land scallops in a closed area.

For information on bay scallop regulations, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Bay Scallops.”

Boater and scalloper safety

Be safe when diving for scallops. Wear a life jacket when underway and do not drink and boat. When scalloping in open water, divers should stay within 300 feet of a properly displayed divers-down flag or device, and within 100 feet of a properly displayed divers-down flag or device if on a river, inlet or navigation channel. Boat operators traveling within 300 feet of a divers-down flag or device in open water or within 100 feet of one on a river, inlet or navigational channel must slow to idle speed. For more information, visit MyFWC.com/Boating/Regulations and click on “Divers-down Warning Devices.”

Stow it, don’t throw it

Don’t forget to stow your trash securely on your vessel so it doesn’t blow out and do not discard empty scallop shells in the Hernando or Crystal rivers.

Citizen Science

Done for the day? Help FWC’s scallop researchers by completing an online survey at svy.mk/bayscallops. Harvesters can indicate where they harvested scallops, how many they collected and how long it took to harvest them. Participants can email BayScallops@MyFWC.com to ask questions or send additional information.

Learn more about long-term abundance trends in the open and closed scalloping areas by visiting MyFWC.com/Research and clicking on “Saltwater,” “Bay Scallops” and “Bay Scallop Season and Abundance Survey.”

Not sure what to do with your haul?

Here are some recipes for your fresh scallops!

Feta Stuffed Scallop Shells

Scallops on the Half Shell

Scallop and Crab Stuffed Flounder

Spicy Scallop Pasta

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