The 2021 recreational bay scallop season from the Fenholloway River through the Suwannee River opens June 15 and will remain open through Labor Day (Sept. 6, 2021). This includes all state waters in Dixie County and a portion of Taylor County and includes the towns of Keaton Beach and Steinhatchee.
The daily bag limit from June 15-30 in this area is one gallon of whole bay scallops in the shell or one cup shucked per person with a maximum of five gallons whole or two pints (four cups) shucked bay scallop meat per vessel.
From July 1 through Labor Day in this area, and for the duration of the open season in other areas, regular bag and vessel limits apply. Regular season limits are two gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or 1 pint of bay scallop meat per person, with a maximum of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or 1/2 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.
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.
Franklin County through northwestern Taylor County (including Carrabelle, Lanark and St. Marks): July 1 through Sept. 24. This region includes all state waters from the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County to the mouth of the Fenholloway River in Taylor County.
Levy, Citrus and Hernando counties (including Cedar Key, Crystal River and Homosassa): July 1 through Sept. 24. This region includes all state waters from the mouth of the Suwannee River in Levy County to the Hernando – Pasco county line.
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.
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.
For information on bay scallop regulations, visit MyFWC.com/Marine and click on “Recreational Regulations” and “Bay Scallops” under the “Crabs, Lobster and other Shellfish” tab.
Boater and scalloper safety
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. For more information, visit MyFWC.com/Boating/Regulations and click on “Divers-down Warning Devices.”
Stow it, don’t throw it
Don’t forget to stow your trash securely on your vessel so that it doesn’t blow out and do not discard empty scallop shells in the Homosassa or Crystal rivers. Scallop shells may be discarded in a trash receptacle or in larger bodies of water where they are more likely to disperse.
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 [email protected].com to ask questions or send additional information.
Learn more about how FWC scientists monitor Florida’s scallops by visiting MyFWC.com/Research and clicking on “Saltwater,” “Bay Scallops” and “Bay Scallop Season and Abundance Survey.”