If you like the idea of egg hunts or diving for sunken treasure, you will love scalloping. With just a mask, snorkel and fins you, too, can jump in and experience the adventure of diving for scallops. You will float along the surface quietly, patiently, over a sand bar in the Gulf of Mexico, off Florida’s beautiful Nature Coast, and take in the wonderful world of various fishes, plants and coral.
Then suddenly you will see one. A scallop! Take a deep breath, dive down and grab it before someone else does! Be sure to look close around and you just might see more. Remember, scallop beds are located mostly in shallow water and may only be harvested by hand or net.
Scallops are hard to spot because their natural coloring allows them to camouflage themselves on the bottom among the tall grasses. Most of the time their shells are open to feed and breath, but as soon as they sense an intruder they slam their shells shut and hide. When threatened, the scallop can swim backwards or up by clapping its shell halves together and rapidly expelling water.
The bay scallop is a member of the shellfish family. Spawning occurs at 1 year of age and in the fall, when the weather is cool. Unfortunately, only 1 egg out of 12 million will survive to live a full life, and in Florida they usually only live 1 year.
In the past, Florida’s coasts were brimming with scallops, but recently they have vanished in many areas. Scientists believe this shortfall could be due to poor water quality since scallops are highly sensitive to changes in water. One could say scallops play an important part within the ecosystem, and observing scallops is a good way to evaluate the quality of the marine environment. In 1998, the Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) teamed up with the University of South Florida in an effort to enhance the population of the scallops in certain areas, as well as eventually launching restrictions to allow only recreational harvesting. This seems to have worked. From 2000 through 2001, the scallop population has increased significantly, after harvesting was banned for several years. In 2002, scallop harvesting was reopened in the Crystal River area, which has become one of the most popular scallop harvesting destinations in Florida.
What can one say about one of the most exciting seasons in Florida. You can get together with your family and friends for a fun filled day on the water scalloping, in Crystal River or Homosassa Florida. Scalloping it is like easter egg hunting in the water, while you are snorkeling around gathering scallops you will be looking at other wildlife that the gulf has to offer.
To Scallop in Florida each person is required to have a fishing license. However by going with a Licensed and Insured Captain, the captain provides all license, so you do won't need one.
Enjoy the ride with Captain Charlie and he will take you to where the scallops are. While going to the Scallop grounds you will get to enjoy the abundance of wildlife and Natural beauty the Nature Coast has to offer.
See you on the water.
Scallop Charter Rates
Season starts June 27th to September 24th
•No License Required
•We Clean Your Scallops
•Scalloping Rates $85 Adults $75 Children (10 and under)
•Scenic Tour Included
•Groups up to six people
•Starting time 7:30 A.M.
Includes fishing License, Mask, Snorkel, Fins, scalloping bags, cold water to drink and Ice for you to take your Fresh Scallops home to enjoy.
For more info on Scalloping in Crystal River