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Tag: bay scallops

2014 Florida Bay Scallop Season to Open Three Days Early

by on May.21, 2014, under FLORIDA'S BIG BEND AND EMERALD COAST

TALLAHASSEE – Governor Rick Scott has announced Florida’s bay scallop season will open three days early this year. Opening the season early and on a weekend will create additional recreational opportunities for Florida residents and visitors while recognizing the importance of economic benefits to coastal communities where this activity occurs.Governor Scott said, “I requested the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission open the season early this year to benefit our communities who rely on our fisheries. The bay scallop fishery is especially important to Florida’s Big Bend region and by opening the bay scallop season three days earlier, Floridians throughout this area will have more opportunities to enjoy our natural treasures and provide for their families.”

The Governor’s letter requesting FWC to open the bay scallop season early can be viewed here.

The season, which usually opens July 1, will open Saturday, June 28, 2014. The FWC will also bring a proposal to its Commissioners at a future meeting to change future season openings to the Saturday before July 1, unless July 1 happens to be a Saturday.

The recreational season will open in Gulf of Mexico state waters (shore to 9 nautical miles) from the Pasco-Hernando county line to the west bank of the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County. The season will remain open through Sept. 24, with the first day of the closure on Sept. 25.

All other regulations, including bag and vessel limits, apply.

Learn more by visiting MyFWC.com/Fishing and clicking on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Bay Scallops.”

– See more at: http://www.thefishingwire.com/story/319440#sthash.x6AXTGoa.dpuf

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2013 Bay Scalloping Season to Open Early–June 29!

by on Jun.26, 2013, under Chassahowitzka and Homosassa, Horseshoe Beach, Keaton Beach to Fenholloway, Ozello to Crystal River, Port St. Joe, Mexico Beach and St. Joseph Bay, St. Marks, Aucilla and Econfina, Steinhatchee, Suwannee

The FWC has just announced that the season for harvesting bay scallops has been extended and will now open on June 29, rather than July 1.  That means there will be an extra weekend to have a great time and bring home some good eats!

If you’re not a seasoned scalloper, you might want to read “Bay Scallops–The Gulf of Mexico’s Tastiest Treat“.  Just click HERE

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Week Four, Steinhatchee Scallop Season, 2012

by on Jul.22, 2012, under Steinhatchee

Week Four of the 2012 bay scallop harvest got off to a slow start with lots of thunderstorms and rain.  Luckily, the worst days were Monday through Thursday, and by Friday (July 20), skies were clearing and chances of storms had diminished.  That’s not to say that folks weren’t watching the weather closely, as “your 30-percent chance of rain” can always sneak up in the form of a violent storm, with lots of wind, rain, lightning and even hail!  And with the bulk of the scallops being taken in the Pepperfish Keys area, riding home the ten or so miles can be arduous is it’s storming.

There's great scalloping just north of the Pepperfish Keys channel, south of Steinhatchee

It seems that the continuing runoff from Tropical Storm Debby still has the waters to the north of the Steinhatchee River muddied up or stained, making scalloping difficult.  I’d bet that there are plenty of scallops in the deeper waters near Nine Mile Bank, but they may be hard to see, and deep.  At Pepperfish, it’s waist-deep on low tide, making the exercise easy and fun.  In general, the scallops are still coming to the cleaning table at the Sea Hag Marina by the buckets-full, and the meat (adductor muscles) is big this year, with 2 gallon limits producing just over a pound of clean scallops.

Another factor that can make the ride south difficult is the huge influx of floating sea grass.  This is caused by the natural shedding of old growth and accelerated by the persistent westerly breezes along the Big Bend.  There’s no danger in running through the grass, but be sure to check you water pressure gauge frequently to be sure your cooling water intakes are not clogged.  Another method is to watch the “pee hole” of your outboard.  If the stream is weak, your motor’s likely clogging up.  Many outboard motors now come with an alarm system that sounds upon overheating, and then slow the engine speed down automatically.  If you do clog up, DO NOT STOP YOUR MOTOR.  All that will do is seize a piston to the cylinder wall (not a good thing!).  Shift gears from forward to reverse, and keep the revolutions (RPMs) up.  Higher revs mean that you’re pumping more cool water into your engine’s water jacket.  Usually a minute or so will clear the intakes and you’ll be on your way.

I can’t stress enough the need for any boater to have some sort of assistance “insurance” in the form of either Sea Tow or Tow Boat US membership.  Getting a tow home can be expensive.  At Carrabelle, Steinhatchee and Horseshoe Beach, I recommend Sea Tow.  At Yankeetown (Levy and Citrus County) Capt. Matt Fleming of Tow Boat US is always on call.

Sea Tow/Horseshoe Beach now has a presence at the Sea Hag Marina in Steinhatchee.

Capt. Matt Fleming of Tow Boat/Yankeetown is waiting to assist!

For a few hints on successful scalloping, click HERE!

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Bay scallop season PERMANENTLY extended by 2 weeks until September 25, 2012

by on Jun.28, 2012, under FLORIDA'S BIG BEND AND EMERALD COAST

After determining that two years of season extensions did not significantly impact the bay scallop population, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) decided June 28 to permanently extend the recreational season by adding two weeks to the end.

The decision was made at the Commission meeting in Palm Beach Gardens. Commissioners also directed staff to look into the possibility of a future commercial harvest of bay scallops. The commercial harvest of bay scallops has been closed in Florida state waters since 1994.

The recreational season, which starts July 1 and closed annually on Sept. 11, will now end Sept. 25. The extension will help increase business opportunities during a time of the year when other fisheries are closed and tourism has decreased. Bay scallops are also known to be larger at the end of the summer, which may be a draw for some harvesters.

The Commission extended the season temporarily in 2010 and 2011 to help alleviate economic hardships caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Bay scallops can be recreationally harvested in Gulf of Mexico state waters (shore to nine nautical miles) from the Pasco-Hernando County line 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 half a gallon of meat.

There is no commercial harvest for bay scallops in Florida state waters.

During the season, scallop harvesters can assist the FWC’s scallop researchers by completing an online survey at http://svy.mk/bayscallops. Harvesters can indicate where they harvest scallops, how many they collect and how long it takes to harvest them. FWC staff and some vendors in harvest areas will also distribute postage-paid survey cards that collect similar data. Participants can email BayScallops@MyFWC.com to ask questions or send additional information.

Visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Bay Scallops” to learn more.

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Steinhatchee’s Sea Hag Marina Adds to Rental Boat Fleet

by on Apr.07, 2011, under Steinhatchee

The Sea Hag Marina at Steinhatchee has added 5 new boats to their boat rental fleet.  Originally, there were 6 of the 25-foot Carolina Skiffs and with the addition of 5 boats in April of 2011, the fleet now numbers 11.

sea hag rental boat

The rental boats from The Sea Hag Marina in Steinhatchee are big, safe, and comfortable.

These rental boats are not typical of what you’ll find at other marinas.  These are current models, powered by 90hp Mercury 4-stroke engines.  They also have all the required safety gear, Bimini tops, a cooler, and dive ladder.  Maximum load for each boat is 10 persons.  The $199 rental cost (plus fuel) is a real bargain, even if you own a boat.

The full fleet will be in operation well in advance of the 2011 recreational scallop season.  Make reservations now by calling (352) 498-3008, as those 11 boats will be in high demand.

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Would you believe it? Requests for Scalloping Information! In December!

by on Dec.01, 2010, under Chassahowitzka and Homosassa, Hernando and Pasco Gulf Coast, Horseshoe Beach, Ozello to Crystal River, Port St. Joe, Mexico Beach and St. Joseph Bay, Shell Point to Lanark, Ochlockonee Bay, St. Marks, Aucilla and Econfina, Steinhatchee

I’ve been getting requests for information on bay scallops and our Big Bend bay scalloping season.  So, just to make it easier (and so I don’t forget!), I’ve added a page to this site that deals with that tasty subject.  You’re welcome to read it now by simply clicking on the link at the top right corner of the page that says “bay scallops–the gulf of mexico’s tastiest treat”

Have fun…I’m hungry for scallops already!

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