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Capt. Tommy Thompson's Saltwater Angler's Guides

Tag: bay scallop

FWC approves regional bay scallop seasons for 2018 with some changes from original proposal

by on Feb.09, 2018, under FLORIDA'S BIG BEND AND EMERALD COAST

 

Bay scallops

At its February meeting near Tallahassee, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved regionally-specific bay scallop open season dates for 2018, including a change to the season for Levy, Citrus and Hernando counties that was proposed in December. The Commission also approved a trial bay scallop season in state waters off Pasco County in 2018.

The following regionally-specific bay scallop open seasons will be created by executive order for 2018 only:

  • Franklin County through northwestern Taylor County (including Carrabelle, Lanark and St. Marks): July 1 through Sept. 24. This region includes all state waters from the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County to Rock Island near the mouth of the Fenholloway River in Taylor County.
  • The remaining portion of Taylor County and all of Dixie County (including Keaton Beach and the Steinhatchee area): the third Saturday in June (June 16) through Sept. 10. This region includes all state waters east of Rock Island near the mouth of the Fenholloway River in Taylor County and north of Alligator Pass Daybeacon #4 near the mouth of the Suwannee River in Levy County.
  • Levy, Citrus and Hernando counties (including Cedar Key, Crystal River and Homosassa): July 1 through Sept. 24 (previously slated for July 10 through Sept. 10). This region includes all state waters south of Alligator Pass Daybeacon #4 near the mouth of the Suwannee River in Levy County and north of the Hernando – Pasco county line.
  • St. Joseph Bay and Gulf County: Aug. 17 through Sept. 30. This region includes all state waters from the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County to the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County.
  • Pasco County: Establish a trial 10-day open season to run July 20-29. This region includes all state waters south of the Hernando – Pasco county line and north of the Anclote Key Lighthouse in northern Pinellas County, and includes all waters of the Anclote River.

These changes are for 2018 only. In late 2018 or early 2019, the FWC will consider setting the 2019 seasons for Gulf and Pasco counties, consider continuing the 2018 season structure for the remaining portions of the open scallop harvest area in 2019, and will work toward creating a more permanent season structure starting in 2020.

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2012 Scalloping Season, Opening Day Report from Steinhatchee, Florida

by on Jul.01, 2012, under Steinhatchee

The 2012 recreational season for scallops kicked off in full steam at Steinhatchee.  Early reports from the FWC were a bit scary, but I’d learned that the “official” scallop survey was made during a spell of bad weather almost a month ago, and were not considered very accurate.  The FWC surveys the same areas each year and it’s my opinion that the scallops move from place to place, and don’t necessarily show up in the test plots each year, as the FWC seems to expect!  In any case, the scallops were plentiful at Steinhatchee on opening day (July 1) and the hunt should be good throughout the season, which has been permanently extended until September 25.

The high tides fell during the mid-day hours and snorkelers had to go deep, sometimes to 8 or 10 feet, to catch their limits.  Many boats waited until mid-afternoon to head out and take advantage of lower water.  Not only was this a high tide, but it was one of the highest of the summer.  Lower tides make it easy to search the bottom.  There were reports of cloudy water, due to the influence of last week’s tropical storm, Debby, but areas of good tidal flow were more clear.  Everyone seemed to head north of the river to the area off the bird rack at Big Grass Island or to the cuts off Dallus Creek.  I heard no reports from the southern shoreline, but did hear rumors that the water near the Pepperfish Keys was good, and that scallops had been seen there.

For a complete look at the process of scalloping, take a look at:

The Ship's Store at the Sea Hag Marina is ready for business--great souvenirs!

Crowds gather at the Sea Hag, getting ready to scallop!

Steinhatchee's new boat ramps make your scalloping outing easier.

All shapes and sizes of boats can take advantage of recreational scalloping.

Anna Patterson, Chiefland Watermelon Queen, with a fresh-caught bag of scallops.

Icing your scallop catch makes them easy to open.

No guts, just pure white meat!

Kim will gladly clean your scallops at the Sea Hag while you relax and have a cold beverage.

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