The Gulf County bay scallop season will remain open through Oct. 8, closing to harvest Oct. 9. Learn more about and comment on the future management of bay scallops off Gulf County and in other areas across the region at a bay scallop workshop 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. ET Oct. 12 in Port St. Joe at the Robert M. Moore Administration Building, 1000 Cecil G. Costin Sr. Blvd.
After an initial season postponement due to a naturally occurring algal bloom, the 2017 season opened Sept. 23 for 16 days total. This season includes all state waters (shore to 9 nautical miles) from the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County through the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County.
When the season is open, all other regulations apply, including a daily bag limit of 2 gallons of whole bay scallops in shell or 1 pint of bay scallop meat per person, with a maximum of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in shell or .5 gallon bay scallop meat per vessel.
The scallop population in Gulf County continues to recover from a 2015 red tide. Restoration efforts are underway in the southeast area of the bay, south of Black’s Island. Swimming, boating, fishing or scalloping in the restoration area marked with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) buoys is prohibited.
To learn more about workshops, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing by clicking on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Public Comments/Workshops” and “Workshops.”
Can’t make a meeting? Written comments may be submitted online at MyFWC.com/SaltwaterComments.
For updates and more information on bay scallops, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Bay Scallops.”
Help FWC’s scallop researchers by completing an online survey at svy.mk/bayscallops. Harvesters can indicate where they harvest scallops, how many they collect and how long it takes to harvest them. Participants can email BayScallops@MyFWC.com to ask questions or send additional information.
Learn more about long-term trends in the open and closed scalloping areas by visiting MyFWC.com/Research and clicking on “Saltwater,” “Molluscs,” “Bay Scallops” and “Season.”0