Recreational bay scallop season for Franklin County through the northwestern portion of Taylor County, as well as Levy, Citrus and Hernando counties opens July 1 and will remain open through Sept. 24. This includes Carrabelle, Lanark, St. Marks, Cedar Key, Crystal River and Homosassa.
Please do not discard scallop shells in inshore waters, such as the Homosassa River or Crystal River, which are commonly used for recreational activities. Piles of discarded scallop shells can create hazards for swimmers and damage seagrass habitat. Scallop shells can be discarded in a trash receptacle or offshore where they are more likely to disperse.
The daily bag limits in these areas are two gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or one pint of bay scallop meat per person, with a maximum of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or half- gallon (four pints) shucked bay scallop meat per vessel. Throughout the season and region-wide, vessel limits do not allow an individual to exceed their personal bag limit.
Reduced bag limits apply in the Fenholloway River through Suwannee River zone from June 15-30.
Additional bay scallop season dates are as follows:
St. Joseph Bay/Gulf County: Aug. 16 through Sept. 24. This region includes all state waters from the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County to the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County.
Fenholloway through Suwannee rivers (including Keaton Beach and the Steinhatchee area): June 15 through Labor Day (Sept. 6). This region includes all state waters east of Rock Island near the mouth of the Fenholloway River in Taylor County and north of Alligator Pass daybeacon #4 near the mouth of the Suwannee River in Levy County. This area has a lowered bag limit June 15-30.
Pasco County: Open for 10 days starting the third Friday in July (July 16-25, 2021). This region includes all state waters south of the Hernando – Pasco county line and north of the Anclote Key Lighthouse including all waters of the Anclote River.
Other regulations are that scallops may be collected by hand or with a landing or dip net. There is no commercial harvest allowed for bay scallops in Florida. Direct and continuous transit of legally harvested bay scallops is allowed through closed areas. Boaters may not stop their vessels in waters that are closed to harvest and must proceed directly to the dock or ramp to land scallops in a closed area.
Be safe when diving for scallops. Wear a life jacket when underway and do not drink and boat. When scalloping in open water, divers should stay within 300 feet of a properly displayed divers-down flag or device, and within 100 feet of a properly displayed divers-down flag or device if on a river, inlet or navigation channel. Boat operators traveling within 300 feet of a divers-down flag or device in open water or within 100 feet of one on a river, inlet or navigational channel must slow to idle speed.
Done for the day? Help FWC’s scallop researchers by completing an online survey at svy.mk/bayscallops. Harvesters can indicate where they harvested scallops, how many they collected and how long it took to harvest them. Participants can email BayScallops@MyFWC.com to ask questions or send additional information.