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Scallop Spat Monitoring at St. Joseph Bay Aquatic Preserve Quick Topics

Management activities at St. Joseph Bay Aquatic Preserve have been discontinued as of July 1, 2011. This page describes one of the former ecosystem science programs which will be restarted should revenue streams improve.

St. Joseph Bay has one of the healthiest populations of bay scallops in Florida. Bay scallops (Argopecten irradians) are distributed within the shallow waters along the southeastern, southern, and southwestern shores of the bay. Population models show that larvae (spat) is a crucial stage for bay scallops. A better understanding of scallop larval dispersal patterns and scales, and subsequent larval supply, is necessary for the proper management of this marine resource.

The preserve assisted the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) with monitoring bay scallop recruitment rates using spat collectors. The scallop spat settle on the collectors, and upon recovery, the collectors were sent to the FWRI laboratory for visual examination and a count.

The preserve monitored 4 sites in this southern portion of the bay, and daily recruitment rates are compared among stations. This information aided in the effective restoration and management of bay scallops. The bay scallop recreational harvesting season is from July 1st through September 10th each year.

Scallop spat recruitment bag

Scallop spat recruitment bag with marker buoy.

More about Scallops
 

More information on the Scallop Spat Recruitment Monitoring Program at St. Joseph Bay Aquatic Preserve is available in the St. Joseph Bay Aquatic Preserve Management Plan.

Printable Maps

 

 

Map of Scallop Spat Recruitment Sites in St. Joseph Bay

Scallop Spat Recruitment Sites
(PDF - 472 KB)

Last updated: December 13, 2012

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