Gulf County Bay Scallop Season Remains Postponed

Gulf County Bay Scallop Season-Opening Remains Postponed.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) issued the following news release this morning.

“The bay scallop season off Gulf County remains postponed due to a naturally occurring algae bloom in St. Joseph Bay. The season postponement will continue until scallop samples test safe for human consumption.

Any updates on the status of this fishery will be posted on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) bay scallop web page, which can be found at by clicking on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Bay Scallops.”

Florida Red Tide Report, Statewide Karenia Brevis Concentrations, 11-2-15
Florida Red Tide Report, Statewide Karenia Brevis Concentrations, 11-2-15

The bay scallop season postponement includes all state waters from the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County through the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County.

All other areas currently open for bay scallop recreational harvest remain unaffected, including the popular scalloping areas of St. Marks, Steinhatchee and Crystal River.

This algae bloom should not impact other recreational activities on St. Joseph Bay.

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services had also issued a closure for the harvest of all clams (including pen shells), mussels and oysters in St. Joseph Bay.  For information on reopenings of clam, mussel or oyster harvest, visit the FDACS website at and search “Shellfish Harvesting Area Information” in the search bar at the top right, select the search result with the same name, then click on “open/close status.”

FWC staff will continue working with other state agencies and the local community as this season closure progresses.


Pseudo-nitzschia, the organism responsible for the bloom and delayed opening of the season, is a naturally occurring microscopic alga that in some cases can produce domoic acid, which can negatively impact marine mammals and seabirds and can cause amnesic shellfish poisoning in humans if contaminated shellfish, including mussels, oysters, clams, and scallops, are consumed. ASP can cause both gastrointestinal issues, such as nausea and upset stomach, as well as neurological issues such as short-term memory loss. Domoic acid has been confirmed in seawater and scallop samples from St. Joseph Bay. Domoic acid does not impact finfish directly, but fish should be rinsed well, filleted and skinned prior to being eaten. The best way to protect yourself is to heed closure warnings and not consume shellfish from the closed areas.”

If you are experiencing symptoms of ASP, contact your primary care provider. You may also want to contact the Florida Poison Control Hotline at 800-222-1222. For Department of Health questions, call 850-245-4250.

Florida Fishing Report: Red Tide Status, 8-18-17

Florida Red Tide Status Map, 8-18-17, Courtesy Of FWC, Florida Red Tide Report.
Florida Red Tide Status Map, 8-18-17, Courtesy Of FWC, Florida Red Tide Report.

Florida Fish & Wildlife Red Tide Status: Friday, August  18, 2017 Avoid VRBO Fees. Rent Direct From Homeowners.FWC released the Red Tide Status Report this week.

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission red tide bulletin at 2:32 PM 8/18/2017.

Red Tide Status (August 18, 2017)

The Florida red tide organism, Karenia brevis, was not detected in samples collected throughout Florida this week.

We continue to receive reports of a multi-species fish kill in Old Tampa Bay. Low dissolved oxygen associated with a bloom of the dinoflagellate Pyrodinium bahamense is likely the cause of this fish kill. Organisms affected include Lizardfish, Pufferfish, Flounder, Catfish, Trout, Blue Crabs, Snook, Mullet, Eels, and Stingrays.

Forecasts for Southwest Florida by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red TidesExternal Websitepredict net offshore movement of surface waters and southern, onshore movement of subsurface waters from Pinellas to Lee counties over the next three days.”

For more information, please see FWC.

Key for Results

Description Karenia breviscells/liter Possible Effects (K. brevis only)
NOT PRESENT – BACKGROUND background levels of 1,000 cells or less None anticipated
VERY LOW >1,000 to 10,000 Possible respiratory irritation; shellfish harvesting closures >  5,000 cells/L
LOW >10,000 to 100,000 Respiratory irritation, possible fish kills, and bloom chlorophyll probably detected by satellites at upper limits
MEDIUM >100,000 to 1,000,000 Respiratory irritation and probable fish kills
HIGH >1,000,000 As above plus discoloration