What happens after Scallop season
Scallop season deals with different challenges, including penny-sized scallops, rain (a lot of it in the last years), bad weather, storms, hurricane warnings and landings, flooded rivers, sea urchins, inexperienced boaters, heat, a rise in covid cases, cancellations, rescheduling and many more. However, the season survived went through and did way better than expected. Visitors and locals were able to limit out most of the time and the scalloping experience with the family will remain in people’s memories. Labor Day marks the end of the recreational harvesting season in Dixie and part of Taylor County waters and the calm will return to Keaton Beach and Steinhatchee, so we can start to prepare for next year’s scallop season while taking care of the fishing on the flats.
But how did the scallop population do at the end of the season? Well, to answer that question different organizations, led by the Taylor County Extension, University of Florida, Florida Sea Grant, FWC, and local stakeholders, like charter captains and marinas, host the “Scallop Post-Season Count“, a citizen-based activity to go to specific sites in the area and count scallops to estimate the remaining population, which spawns during Fall and produce the next generation of scallops for next year’ season.
Healthy scallop numbers
According to FWC-Research Institute (https://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/mollusc/bay-scallops/season/), the region needs at least an estimated 2.5 million spawning scallop population to stay between healthy numbers for next year. The activity is volunteer-based and if you would like to participate by bringing your boat to take surveyor out, by helping on the boat, by volunteering your time to snorkel or scuba dive and count scallops, or just helping with logistics, this is your chance to give back to those amazing creatures. Contact your local Sea Grant Extension Agent and find out about potential dates and the logistics behind the scallop counts.