If you’re a scallop fan, today is a good day for you. The Bay Scallop season for Pasco County begins today, Friday, July 17 and ends on Sunday, July 26.

The Pasco County region and Bay Scallop season dates includes all state waters south of the Hernando – Pasco county line and north of the Anclote Key Lighthouse in northern Pinellas County, and includes all waters of the Anclote River.

Each person is allowed a minimum of one 2 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or 1 pint of scallop meat and a maximum of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops or 4 pints of scallop meat.

Scallops can be collected by hand or with a landing or dip net, but commercial harvesting of bay scallops in Florida is not permitted. To transport scallops through closed waters boaters must go directly to the doc without stopping.

The Florida Wildlife and Fish Conservation Commission has asked that scallop shells are not discarded in inshore waters to save swimmers from injury and seagrass habitats from damage. The shells can be dispersed in large bodies or thrown in garbage cans.

For boater and scalloper safety, always wear a lifejacket when underway and do not drink and boat. Divers should stay no further than 300 feet of a properly displayed divers-down flag or device, and within 100 feet of a properly displayed divers-down flag or device if on a river, inlet or navigation channel. Boats must slow to an idle speed when traveling within 300 feet of a divers-down flag or device in open water or within 100 feet of one on a river. See the full list of regulations on MyFWC.com/Boating/Regulations under the “Divers-down Warning Devices”.

Bay Scallop season dates for other counties are as follows:

St. Joseph Bay/ Gulf County will not begin until Aug. 16 and finish on Sept. 24.

Taylor County to Dixie County began on June 15 and will end after Labor Day with a smaller bag limit now through the end of the month.

Levy, Citrus and Hernando counties, including Cedar Key, Crystal River, Homosassa and all state waters from the mouth of the Suwannee River to the Hernando – Pasco County line, is set to start on July 1 and run through Sept. 24.

When you are done collecting scallops for the day, complete the online survey at svy.mk/bayscallops to help scallop researchers.