What do you see when you close your eyes and picture the perfect summer vacation? Do you picture yourself swimming in salt water off the coastline of Florida? If not, you’re not doing it right!! Scalloping in Florida is a favorie summer past time!
Do you know how much summer fun comes with scalloping? If not, you are really missing out!! Sunshine, salt water and scallops make up the best summer memories!
Cruising out to the scallop grounds, donning your snorkel gear, and taking that initial dive for the delectable bay scallop is the best way to spend a sunny summer day!
Citrus County, aka the Nature Coast, provides locals and tourists alike with some of the most fertile grass beds for recreational scallop harvest every year.
As a matter of fact, the shoreline off the coast of Citrus County was recently deemed as “outstanding Florida Waters” by Florida legislature! This coastline was recognized as an essential part of Florida’s aquatic preserve, and named the Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve by the Florida Senate.
Scalloping in these waters truly provides the chance to experience Florida at its finest!
Why is seagrass important?
Helthy grassbeds are extremely important to a thriving scallop population. Scallops are active inhabitants of seagrass beds amid a shallow sandy bottom, and they thrive in our seagrasses.
They are filter feeders, but can’t filter sediment so they prefer clean and clear waters.
Their choice of marine environment makes harvesting scallops fairly easy!!
Dive into authentic Florida adventure!
Diving for scallops in Crystal River is like partaking in an underwater treasure hunt. You simply snorkel at the surface until you lay eyes on the prized jewel! Once you spot a scallop you shoot to the bottom to scoop it! The depth of the waters that you will dive while scalloping usually averages around 6-8 feet.
It is generally pretty easy to scallop, but scallop diving requires you to be comfortable in your snorkel gear. The hardest part of scalloping for the inexperienced snorkeler tends to be using the snorkel equipment. The reason for this is because you must be able to clear your snorkel after you take the dive to the bottom for you score. If you fall into this category, don’t give up! After a few tries, you will get the hang of it pretty easily!
When scalloping in Crystal River, the best areas to look for are the shallower grasses. They usually lay near the top of the grass beds, or you will find them in the sandy spots that meet the grass beds. If you find yourself in these areas, your score will probably be much higher.
Also, be on the lookout for different species of fish, coral, sponges, turtles, starfish, sea horses and other treasures that mother ocean has to offer! Scalloping is a treasure hunt that serves up a ton of fun and a delicious dinner too! Let this underwater treasure hunt provide your family with memories they will treasure forever!!
Know before you go Scalloping…
If you have a boat, familiarize yourself with scalloping laws before you head out on your own. When scalloping in Florida, be sure to do so responsibly!
Seagrass beds are critical to a healthy eco system, and it is our job to protect them. Boating responsibly helps to avoid damage to sea grass. Navigate your vessel through deeper areas, and trim up your boat motors when over grass beds. When possible, try to throw anchor in sandy sports to reduce damage to the grass! Check out this article on other ways to protect your bottom!
Your charter captain will know the best scalloping spots in Florida. Plus, everything necessary for an awesome day on the water is provided on your Crystal River Scallop Charter.
Round up the friends and family and because you won’t want to miss this adventure.
Recreational harvest for scalloping in Crystal River, or scallop season, officially starts on July 1st and lasts until the middle of September each year. Opening dates for Scalloping in Florida differ by county. Be sure to review the FWC guidelines for seasons and opening zones.