2017 bay scallop season in Dixie/Taylor counties starts June 16

2017 bay scallop season in Dixie/Taylor counties starts June 16

Get your bay scallop bags and shucking tools ready. The 2017 recreational bay scallop season for Dixie County and parts of Taylor County will open June 16 and remain open through Sept. 10. This includes all state waters from the Suwannee River through the Fenholloway River. These new season dates are for 2017 only and are an opportunity to explore regionally-specific bay scallop seasons.

Harvesting bay scallops is a fun outdoor activity that the whole family can participate in. It also has an important economic impact on coastal areas in the open region.

The scallop season in St. Joseph Bay in Gulf County will be July 25 through Sept. 10 and includes all waters in St. Joseph Bay and those west of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County, through the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County.

All other portions of the bay scallop harvest zone will be open from July 1 through Sept. 24. This includes all state waters from the Pasco-Hernando county line to the Suwannee River Alligator Pass Daybeacon 4 in Levy County, and from north and west of Rock Island near the mouth of the Fenholloway River in Taylor County through the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) staff worked with local community leaders on selecting these regional 2017 season dates.

At the December 2017 Commission meeting, staff will review public feedback on these changes and make a recommendation for future management. To submit your feedback [ http://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/rulemaking/comments/ ] on bay scallop regulations, visit MyFWC.com/SaltwaterComments.

Bag and vessel limits throughout the entire bay scallop harvest zone are 2 gallons whole bay scallops in shell or 1 pint of bay scallop meat per person, with a maximum of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops inshell or 1/2 gallon bay scallopmeat per vessel.

Scallops may be collected by hand or with a landing or dip net.

Scallops must be landed within the area that is open to harvest.

There is no commercial harvest allowed for bay scallops in Florida.

Be safe when diving for scallops. Stay within 300 feet of a properly displayed divers-down flag or buoy when scalloping in open water and within 100 feet of a properly displayed divers-down flag or buoy if on a river, inlet or navigation channel. Boat operators traveling within 300 feet of a divers-down flag or buoy in open water or 100 feet of one on a river, inlet or navigational channel must slow to idle speed.

Done for the day? Help FWCs scallop researchers by completing an online survey at _svy.mk/bayscallops [ https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/bayscallops?sm=eVNSmnhqBI0ygILIfqIEcL9Bed1lPW7DAsf2h0pxSyg%3d ]_. 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.

For more information [ http://myfwc.com/about/commission/commission-meetings/2016/november/16/agenda/ ] on the season date changes for 2017, visit MyFWC.com/Commission and select Commission Meetings, then click on 2016 and Agenda under the November meeting.

For information on bay scallop regulations [ http://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/bay-scallops/ ], visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on Saltwater Fishing, Recreational Regulations and Bay Scallops.

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