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Bay Scallop Season and Abundance Survey

Open harvest season for bay scallops along Florida’s Gulf coast runs July 1-September 24.

Annual abundance survey

Each summer, biologists assess bay scallop populations, surveying 10 to 20 stations at each of 10 study sites along the Gulf coast of Florida. At each station, biologists count all scallops within a 600-square-meter area (656 square yards). Surveys are usually initiated in June, and those for study sites open to recreational harvest are completed before the season opens. The table below lists the average number of scallops observed per 600 square meters in areas open to recreational harvest during the summer surveys. Dashes indicate years in which surveys were not conducted.


Planning on going scalloping this bay scallop season? Help biologists learn more about how many bay scallops live along Florida’s Gulf coast by submitting your bay scallop harvest data through our Web survey. View the article “Bay Scallop Web Survey Taps Recreational Harvesters” for more information.

Harvest regulations

Scallop harvesting is very popular in the Steinhatchee vicinity, St. Joseph Bay, and around Crystal River. The map below shows the current coastal counties where bay scallop harvest is legal. Harvest periods, harvest areas, and fishing regulations are subject to change. Before collecting bay scallops, recreational harvesters should review current rules and regulations at http://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/regulations/bay-scallops/.


Scuba divers and swimmers using a mask and snorkel are required to carry and display a divers-down flag.

Divers-down flag

Florida Dive Flags: Rules for Divers and Boaters

Boating Safety & Education

Boating Regulations: Divers-Down Flag