Fla. (WMBB) — The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced Wednesday dates for the 2021 scallop season in Gulf and Franklin Counties.
Gulf County’s season will run August 16 to September 14, and Franklin County scallop seekers will see a season from July 1 to September 24. Those dates will remain the same in upcoming years. Previously, they were decided annually by FWC.
“It’s a great thing for the public to know when the season starts in advance. It helps with planning, and this season was really worked on heavily with the [Gulf County] community,” Amanda Nalley, FWC public information specialist, said. “We look at a lot of things when we manage a species, both what’s best for the resource but also what works well for the communities that depend on that resource.”
Adrianne Glass, marketing associate with the Gulf County Tourism Development Council, is excited about the announcement and the work that’s been done with FWC.
“They’ve been a huge part of our community making sure that scallops are sustainable in St. Joseph Bay that people can come back down here, and people that are from here can come and enjoy the scallop season and really be able to have a plentiful capture.”
The mid-August start to the season will give the scallops more time to grow.
“In years past when we’ve opened on July 1, the scallops have been very small at the beginning of the season, so now, harvesters are able to get big scallops and plenty of them,” FWC Officer Matt Webb said.
With dates set, stores like Bluewater Outriggers in Port St. Joe can plan ahead.
“We’re able to have our store ready with enough salespeople to handle the traffic flow, we’re ready to get good bargains because we can buy ahead in bulk knowing what’s going to happen and pass that on to our consumers as well,” Chris Kelly, who is charge of the store’s warehouse, said.
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