After a long delay tasty Gulf scallops are back on the menu.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced Wednesday that scallops can be harvested in Gulf County starting this Saturday.
The St. Joseph Bay scallop harvest originally scheduled to begin on July 25th in Gulf County was postponed because of an algae bloom in the water.
The Gulf County bay scallop season will open to harvest on Sept. 23 for 16 days, with the last day of harvest being Oct. 8 and closing Oct. 9. This season opening includes all state waters (shore to 9 nautical miles) from the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County through the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County, FWC officials wrote in a news release.
All other regulations apply, including a daily bag limit of 2 gallons of whole bay scallops in shell or 1 pint of bay scallop meat per person, with a maximum of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in shell or 1/2 gallon bay scallop meat per vessel, they wrote.
The scallop population in Gulf County is also still recovering from a 2015 red tide. Restoration efforts are underway in the southeast area of the bay south of Black’s Island. Swimming, boating, fishing or scalloping in the restoration area marked with FWC buoys is prohibited. The recent algae bloom is not expected to impact the scallop population.