The Molluscan Fisheries as part of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg, FL are working in near by St. Joe Bay and St. Andrew Bay to monitor and restore the population of Bay Scallops. The FWC is asking for help from the local community for a scallop restoration project.  The plan is to provide scallops and predator exclusion cages to community members prior to the 2018 scalloping season. Community members would be asked to hang their cages with scallops from privately owned docks or, if they have a boat or kayak, they can place these cages in the bay. Volunteers would be asked to clean the cages at least once each month as well as monitor the health of the scallops. Volunteers will be responsible for their scallops for a 7-8 month period from April 2018- January 2019, until they are ready to be released. The goal of this project is to increase the spawning adult population in St. Joe Bay and St. Andrew Bay.

2016 began a 10-year project to restore bay scallops to self-sustaining levels in Florida’s Panhandle.  The objective of the scallop restoration project is to enhance the public’s use and enjoyment of Florida’s natural resources by enhancing depleted scallop populations and reintroduction to suitable areas from which scallops have disappeared. The restoration work includes enhancing local scallop populations in targeted areas through a combination of the harvest and redistribution of naturally-occurring juvenile and adult scallops supplemented with stocking from a commercial scallop hatchery. In addition to traditional approaches to restoration, the vision for restoring scallops also includes educating the public on ongoing restoration projects and asking them to be contributing partners in these efforts. 

Since the project began in 2016, The FWC has worked with community members in St. Joseph Bay to collect scallops prior to the opening of the scallop season and place them in cages in an exclusion zone protected from harvest.  They are currently working on developing partnerships with interested NGOs, county officials, schools, and the private sector to help restore scallops in St. Joseph Bay and St. Andrew Bay.  The willmprovide scallops and predator exclusion cages to community members in these areas prior to the 2018 scalloping season.  Community members will hang their cages with scallops from privately owned docks or, if they have a boat, they can place these cages in the bay. Volunteers must be willing to clean the cages at least once each month as well as monitor the scallops.  By partnering with the community next year we can increase our chances of successful restoring scallops to St. Joseph Bay and St. Andrew Bay.

To help volunteer with the FWC on this scallop restoration effort, please email bayscallops@myfwc.com.

 

For more information visit these links to learn more.

About the restoration project. http://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/mollusc/bay-scallops/research/

About Molluscs and Bay Scallops. http://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/mollusc/

Panama City News Herald reported on 10/20/2017. http://www.newsherald.com/news/20171020/scallops-show-signs-of-recovery-restoration-effort-to-begin

 

 St. Joe Bay Scallops

St. Joe Bay Scallops

 

 St. Joe Bay Scallops