Snorkelers manned with dip nets could be seen on the water in Gulf County this past weekend gathering up scallops in St. Joseph Bay and out near Cape San Blas, despite the rain.
The season opened Aug. 16 and will remain open until Sept. 14 for state waters from Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County to the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County.
The bag and vessel limit for scallops is two gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or one pint of scallop meat per person, with a maximum of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or a half-gallon of bay scallop meat per vessel, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Scallops can be collected by hand or with a landing or dip net.
According to FWC, swimming, boating, fishing and scalloping in the restoration area marked with buoys south of Black’s Island is prohibited during and after scallop season.
The FWC urges boaters to be safe when traveling to and from scalloping sites and while scalloping. When scalloping in open water, divers should stay within 300 feet of a properly displayed divers-down flag or device, and within 100 feet of a properly displayed divers-down flag or device if on a river, inlet or navigation channel.