Governor Rick Scott has announced an early start to recreational scallop season beginning on Saturday, June 29th, up two days from the original starting date of July 1. The season will be open in Gulf of Mexico state waters (shore to 9 nautical miles out) from the Pasco-Hernando county line to the west bank of the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County. The season will remain open through Sept. 24, with the first day of the closure on Sept. 25.

In a statement released last week, Governor Scott said, “I asked FWC to open the recreational scallop season early. This is an opportunity for Florida families and our visitors to enjoy our state’s natural beauty, while catching the best scallops in the world. By moving the recreational date up, we’ll provide families and visitors with an extra weekend to enjoy the scallop season, which will benefit jobs and families along the coast.”

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the bag limit is two gallons of whole bay scallops or one pint of meat per person, per day, with a vessel limit of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops or a half-gallon of meat. Scallops may be collected by hand or with a landing or dip net. Scallops cannot be taken ashore outside of the open area. There is no commercial harvest for bay scallops in Florida state and federal waters.