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FWC Pilots Holding Bay Scallop Seasons In Different Regions

FWC FWRI's Flickr
Using their hands, researchers find scallops that are hidden deep in thick seagrass. Gloves help to protect the researchers’ hands from crabs and other organisms.";

As sort of a pilot, state wildlife officials are holding three different bay scallop seasons in the Florida Panhandle. While one starts Saturday, another is already underway.

For the waters spanning the Fenholloway River in Taylor County to Dixie County’s Suwannee River, the bay scallop season started June 16 and will run until September 10. And, starting Saturday, state waters from the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County through the Pasco-Hernando County line will also be open for scalloping.

Amanda Nalley is a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman. She says this is an opportunity to look at regionally-specific scallop seasons.

“Some areas, there might be a preference to have it open a little bit earlier than it normally does, and some areas, they might have a preference to have it open later,”  said Nalley. “So, this was an opportunity to take lake a look at exploring that, and see if that would be a thing that work out in the future in terms of how we manage bay scallops.”

Scallop season will also be open for St. Joe Bay as well as parts of Franklin and Bay counties, starting July 25. Meanwhile, at a December meeting, Nalley says the FWC is expected to receive some feedback from the public to see what worked and what didn't with the regional seasons.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.