After two years of extremely low harvest followed by closure for three years, scallop fishing reopened in limited areas of North Carolina over the past two years.
Based on new data presented by N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries to the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission, the scallop season for commercial and recreational harvest was reopened in Core and Pamlico sounds from Jan. 26 to April 1, 2010.
Bogue and Back sounds, as well as areas south of Bogue Sound, remained closed due to abundance limitations still seen in these areas.
Looking ahead to this coming scallop season, biologists say that there was good spawning the last two years, which they hope will mean high numbers of adults this year.
Once biologists complete their sampling at the end of October and they present results to the MFC in December, various areas of the bay scallop fishery could be reopened in late January.
Bay scallops may be taken by hand, with hand rakes, hand tongs, dip nets and scoops from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on designated harvest days.
Commercial fishermen may harvest five bushels per person per day on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week. There is a limit of 10 bushels per fishing operation, regardless of the number of fishermen on a boat.
Recreational fishermen may harvest no more than one-half bushel of scallops per person per day on Saturday and Sunday of each week. There is a limit of one bushel per vessel per day, regardless of the number of fishermen on the boat.
For more information, contact the DMF Fisheries Management Section Chief during office hours at 252-808-8074 or other times at 252-633-5957.
Contributed by David Green