Locals Disappointed With Scallop Season Delay

GULF COUNTY, Fla. - Scallop season is facing another setback this year.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials have postponed the start of the season because of an algae bloom.

They want to make sure the scallops are safe to eat.

"There's an algae bloom within the bay, not like red tide. It's not expected to affect the scallop population at all, but when this algae bloom occurs occasionally it can lead to basically it being a neurotoxin inside of the scallop," said FWC PIO Amanda Nalley. 

Tuesday was supposed to be the first day of the 2017 scallop season.

However, the algae forced state wildlife officials to postpone that start for at least two weeks.

The affected area runs from Mexico Beach to St. Vincent Island.

"I hope the people would understand that it's just like anything else that mother nature might bring our way. We just have to be nimble and be able to react," said Gulf County TDC Executive Director Jennifer Adams.

Kim Bohannon manages Presnall's Marina.

She's had to cancel a number of customers' boat reservations.

"They were not happy of course. Some went out to have a fun day on the water, others went home," said Bohannon.

Taylor Meacham and his family found out while on the road from Pensacola, but they decided to stay anyway.

"I wish they would've gave us a little bit more time to - sixteen hours before the season opened but, guess you can't help whatever happens," said Meacham.

"This algae does not affect fin fish. It's just you know, oysters, clams, or scallops right now," added Adams.

Wildlife officials don't have a new date for the start of scallop season.

They aren't saying if the season will be extended, once it does start.

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