PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation hosted their annual Scallop Rodeo on Saturday in St. Andrews.
Volunteers had to sign a waiver, and then could go out into the bay to catch as many live scallops as they could. After caught, members of the FWC put the scallops in cages, to promote a higher success rate for reproduction.
This day is part of a large restoration project across the Panhandle. The project aims to restore lost opportunities for recreational fishing.
Research scientist, Steve Gieger, says the Scallop Rodeo gives the community a real sense of the bay.
“People put their face in the water and they see things, it’s a lot more than just scalloping,” said Gieger. “You see starfish and shells and you see fish and you literally immerse yourself in the habitat and it gives people a sense of belonging to the bay.”
The project will now focus on the restoration stage until this time next year. The FWC is currently in year 4 of this 10 year project.