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
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 with marker buoy.