January 23, 2009

Bay scallop season will open Jan. 26 

Louis B. Daniel III, director of the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, issued a proclamation on Thursday, Jan. 22, opening the bay scallop season in the Core and Pamlico sounds with some restrictions.

The bay scallop fishery has been closed for several years because DMF officials said the stock was depleted.

Meanwhile, islanders have seen parking lots this winter fill up with scallop shells, dropped by seagulls who want to get them opened.  And folks who have been clamming have seen plenty of the off-limits scallops.

The season for bay scallops will open at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 26, and remain open until 4 p.m. on April 1.

The area opened includes all of the Pamlico Sound.

Scallops may be taken from 7:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. by hand, with hand rakes, hand tongs, dip nets, and scoops. Scallops cannot be harvested with dredges.

Commercial harvest will be allowed on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week. Recreational harvest will be allowed Saturday and Sunday only.

Commercial fishermen are allowed five bushels per person per day. According to the proclamation, no combined fishing operation, regardless of the number of persons or boats that are involved, can possess more than 10 bushels per day.

Recreational fishermen are allowed 1/2 bushel per day – not to exceed one bushel if two or more persons are on a boat.

There is no size limit on the scallops.

Also, the recreational harvest limit cannot be combined with the commercial harvest limit.

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