Open Scallop Season Attracts Harvesters


Scallop season opened Saturday and people are rushing to harvest them before the season ends. 
News 13’s Alex Thorson was in Gulf County Sunday, and says the sixteen day long season won’t stop locals from getting their scallop fix.

After nearly two months of waiting, not even a few rain showers could keep scalloper’s off St. Joseph Bay.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission opened the harvest season in Gulf County Saturday.

The season was originally scheduled to begin on July 25, but was postponed because of an algae bloom in the water. 

“We’re gonna be here probably next weekend and as much as we can as long as the season’s open,” Nick Tillman, a harvester, said.

Despite concerns over the scallop population in recent years, harvesters say they’re pleased with what they’re finding this year.

“I went out two years ago when it was open and I got two scallops,” Russell Harrison, a harvester, said. 

But if you’re waiting to hit the water, you may want to consider going out sooner than later.

“There’s quite a few boats out there, so I know they’ve been getting scooped up quick over the weekend,” Tillman said.

Officials say the scallop population is still recovering from the 2015 red tide.

They say people can scallop in all state waters from the Mexico Beach canal through the western point of St. Vincent island.

The FWC says the last day to harvest scallops is Oct. 8. 

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