Today, Governor Rick Scott announced an early start to recreational scallop season beginning on Saturday, June 29th, up two days from the original starting date of July 1. The season will be 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.
Governor Scott said, “I asked FWC to open the recreational scallop season early. This is an opportunity for Florida families and our visitors to enjoy our state’s natural beauty, while catching the best scallops in the world. By moving the recreational date up, we’ll provide families and visitors with an extra weekend to enjoy the scallop season, which will benefit jobs and families along the coast.”
“Harvesting bay scallops is a family friendly activity that boosts the local economy in areas where harvest is open,” said Ken Wright, Chairman of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “Opening the bay scallop season two days early, on a weekend rather than a weekday, and on the weekend before the Fourth of July will positively impact the communities and businesses that depend on bay scalloping while providing additional recreational opportunities for Florida’s residents and visitors.”
The 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 a half-gallon of meat. Scallops may be collected by hand or with a landing or dip net. Scallops cannot be taken ashore outside of the open area. There is no commercial harvest for bay scallops in Florida state and federal waters.