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Despite 2015 Red Tide Event, St. Joe Bay Scallop Population Sees Improvements

The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Despite a harmful algal bloom in 2015, Florida wildlife officials say the bay scallop population in Saint Joe Bay appears to be improving.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Amanda Nalley says even though there have been some scallop gains after the red tide event a few years ago, there’s still more to do.

“The bay scallop population in St. Joe Bay is not fully recovered yet,” she said. “But, both distribution of scallops throughout that bay and settlement of new larvae have improved some from last year, and we are continuing with our restoration efforts in Bay County, of using both half-free raised, and locally caught scallops, and we’ll continue doing that through the Spring of 2018 and until we see some full recovery of that population in the area.”

Still, the FWC has extended this year’s bay scallop season in St. Joe Bay in Gulf County from July 25 through September 10. It also includes the waters west of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County, through the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County. That’s expected to bring an economic boost to the areas.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner .

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