Of the six shellfish species harvested in the Big Bend, several are commonly harvested recreationally. Blue crabs, stone crabs, and bay scallops are widely targeted by recreational fishers. Oysters, clams, and shrimp can legally be harvested but are less commonly targeted recreationally due to more complicated harvest regulations and/or less convenient harvest times.
Rules pertaining to both commercial and recreational harvest of shellfish in the Big Bend include limits on size, bag (amount) and catch, as well as gear restrictions. For most current regulations, visit Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission:
Bay scallops, in particular, are a very popular recreational fishery in Florida’s Big Bend. In fact, harvesting them yourself is the best way to enjoy locally caught bay scallops because there is not a commercial fishery. The greater Big Bend region of Florida is the only place you can still enjoy this favorite Florida pastime!
Click here for 2023 Saltwater Recreational Rules and Regulations.