Scallop season opens today

. These are the scalloping rules, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission:

Published July 1, 2006

Open season for bay scallops along Florida's Gulf Coast begins today and runs through Sept. 10. A saltwater fishing license is required if scalloping from a boat.

* The state waters of the Gulf of Mexico open to scallop harvest extend from the Pasco-Hernando line near Aripeka to the west bank of the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County. It is illegal to possess bay scallops on water outside the open harvest areas and is illegal to land scallops outside open areas.

For example, it would be legal to take scallops from waters of the Citrus County coast, but it would be illegal to dock your boat in Pasco County with the scallop catch on board.

Recreational harvesters are limited to 2 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or 1 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 one-half gallon scallop meat aboard any vessel at any time. Bay scallops may be harvested only by hand or with a land or dip net. They may not be harvested for commercial purposes. Harvest of bay scallops for commercial sale is illegal in Florida.