"There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot." - Aldo Leopold

Monday, August 16, 2010

August Scallops

“Something is amiss,” I gently pondered...actually, my thoughts were much more profane and desperate as I gazed down and noticed the depth had quickly given way to the shallows.

“Stay on that throttle!”

I’d been paying too much attention to skating the edge of a rainstorm, but as I observed the fleet of scallop boats, I realized the divers were wading knee deep water, slogging sticky-feet about the flats. Everyone was stuck in this trap. Luckily, I chugged the Bayrider to happier waters without destroying the lower unit or seagrass beds. Just a month ago this was 6 feet of drink, run dry now by powerful outgoing tides.

The scalloping was worth it. Man, oh man, this has been one heck of a clam season. Once again, we found ourselves off Ozello, and after two months of Open Season, the scallops are still thick.

And they are HUUUUUGGGGGGEEEEE. The shells resemble something from the fossil records; all covered in barnacles, some ¾ the size of my palm. The meat is comparable in size to sea scallops you see in restaurants. It’s amazing how fast they grow in just a month.

This has been one of the busiest years I can recall in Homosassa. The Shop Vacs are lined up and down the River siphoning Scallop Goop. The Springs are LOADED with partygoers and other revelers. I dare say the economy in this area is doing right well, considering.

The one down side is the heat. Oppressive. But that should not be enough to keep you in port. Scallop season lasts until September 10th.

From the FWC:

Recreational harvesters are limited to two gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell, or one pint of bay scallop meat, per day during the open season. In addition, recreational scallopers may possess no more than 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell, or ½ gallon of bay scallop meat, aboard any vessel at any time. Bay scallops may be harvested only by hand or with a landing or dip net. They may not be harvested for commercial purposes. Recreational harvesters need a Florida saltwater fishing license to harvest bay scallops, even when scalloping from shore.

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