As a precautionary measure, the bay scallop season in state waters off Gulf County, including St. Joseph Bay, will close to harvest starting at noon EDT, Sept. 26. This closure is due to the presence of bloom levels of Karenia brevis, the naturally-occurring algae associated with red tide. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recently announced a similar closure for clams, mussels and oysters (not including bay scallops) due to the algae bloom impacting the area.
While these species are closed to harvest, St. Joseph Bay remains open for other recreational activities. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is working closely with partners during this time, including the Florida Department of Health, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Gulf County, and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
- Link to Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Shellfish Harvesting Areas Map
- Contact your local department of health for health and safety information.