Based on early reports from recreational fishermen, bay scallops should offer great recreational opportunities in Northwest Florida this year. The 2012 harvest season for bay scallops was established at the FWC Commission Meeting on June 27–28, 2012. This publication was developed prior to the Commission’s decision, therefore the season closing date was not available for the printed version. For the 2012 scallop season dates, please refer to the website at MyFWC.com/Fishing/Saltwater/Regulations.
Don’t miss the fun! If you are a resident of Northwest Florida or you will be visiting the region during this scallop season, we hope that you will get out there and join the fun.
Scallop harvesting is special because, unlike many other types of saltwater fishing, it requires minimal equipment and minimal knowledge and ability.
All you will need is a recreational saltwater fishing license (unless you are exempt), a dive flag, and a mask and snorkel. A small boat to get you out there, a meshed harvest bag, and a good supply of sunscreen will also be very helpful!
The open region extends from the west bank of the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County to the Pasco-Hernando county line. Scallops are concentrated in relatively small areas within the open region. If you are unfamiliar with the area, get some local information on the location of scallops before you go. Unlike closely held reef coordinates, other harvesters will be happy to share this information.
The daily limit is two gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or one pint of bay scallop meat per person, with a vessel limit of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or one-half gallon of bay scallop meat. Harvesting can only be accomplished by hand or with the use of a landing or dip net
During the season, scallop harvesters can assist FWC’s scallop researchers by completing an online survey at svy.mk/bayscallops.
For additional information on bay scallops, please visit MyFWC.com/Fishing/Saltwater/Regulations/Bay-scallops.
For boater safety information, please visit MyFWC.com/Boating/Safety-education.
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.