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Capt. Tommy Thompson's Saltwater Angler's Guides

Tag: scallop season

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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New Steinhatchee boat ramp should be completed in time for 2011 Recreational Scallop Season!

by on Jun.05, 2011, under Steinhatchee

You folks down south in the more populated areas of the state likely don’t understand, but a new boat ramp on the Big Bend is a REALLY BIG DEAL!  That’s especially true at Steinhatchee.  There, the only reliable public ramp has been on the river, across from the Sea Hag Marina, and actually in another county!  The current ramp not only has a bad cross current when the tide’s ripping, but parking was nonexistent, except along the roadside.  That made for some pretty serious complications during the busiest time of the year, recreational scallop season.

The new ramp is on the site of the old Ideal Marina, just west of the Sea Hag on SR361.  There will be three concrete ramps, a kayak/canoe launch, and what looks to be adequate parking.  I’ve had no word yet on whether there will be a cost to use the ramp.  But if so, it will certainly be reasonable considering the work that’s being done and the convenience the ramp will offer.  Construction crews have been working hard to finish the job and it looks to be on time for the June 25 opening of scallop season.

Construction of the new Steinhatchee Boat Ramps

The new boat ramps at Steinhatchee should be ready in time for the 2011 Recreational Scallop Season!

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Florida’s 2011 Recreational Scallop Season Extended!

by on Apr.20, 2011, under FLORIDA'S BIG BEND AND EMERALD COAST

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced that it will expand the recreational bay scallop season to open a week early on June 25 and extend the season by two weeks to end on Sept. 25.  Small Gulf Coast communities from Homosassa to Steinhatchee to St. Marks to St. Joe Bay will have three extra weeks for visitors and residents to explore and enjoy this low cost, fun family activity.

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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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