PASCO COUNTY, Fla. – July 19, 2019 –Bay scallop season has returned to Pasco County for a second season following a 25-year hiatus and is, officially, here. Florida’s Sports Coast, the official destination management office for Pasco County, celebrated the long-awaited return of bay scallop season with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Pasco County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources at a joint press conference at Anclote Key boat ramp to kick off the start of the 2019 season.
In May, FWC granted Pasco County with an annual scallop season that will start the third Friday in July and last for 10 days. Pasco’s bay scallop season had been revoked in 1994 due to over harvesting and depleted populations that couldn’t sustain an active recreational season.
“We’re thrilled to see recreational scalloping return to Pasco waters,” said Tourism Director, Adam Thomas, CDME. “As an adventurous outdoor activity, scallop season brings unmatched memories to countless families and friends.”
In anticipation of continued growth in popularity with the returned underwater adventure, Pasco County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources is concentrating efforts to expand and improve county boat ramps to provide more trailer parking and overall better launch experiences for both local and out of town scallopers. “To improve access for users in and out of the boat ramps, an effort to redesign the park entrance, internal traffic flows, and parking will be launched later this year”, said Keith Wiley, Director of Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources.
FWC Scalloping Safety and Fishing Regulations:
- Scallops must be landed within areas that are open to harvest
- Active scalloping area: All Pasco County waters and Pinellas County waters north of the Anclote Key Lighthouse, including all waters of the Anclote River
- Scallops may be collected by hand or with a landing or dip net
- Daily bag limit: 2 gallons whole bay scallops in shell or 1 pint of shucked per person
- Maximum of 10 gallons of scallops in shell or 1/2 gallon of bay scallop meat per vessel
- Scallops may not be possessed on waters outside of areas that are open to harvest
- Properly display a divers-down flag while in the water (see regulations)
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For complete information on bay scallop harvest zones, regulations, and fishing license requirements, please visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s bay scallops page or www.myfwc.com and Pasco County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources at https://www.pascocountyfl.net/252/Parks-Recreation-and-Natural-Resources. To learn more about Florida’s Sports Coast, visit the DMO’s new website www.FLSportsCoast.com or engage with the destination on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @FLSportsCoast. Let’s Play!