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Nature’s Discovery’s Scalloping Adventures

a person swimming in a body of water

Nature’s Discovery offers exciting scalloping charters in Crystal River, Florida, giving visitors the opportunity to explore the pristine waters of the Gulf Coast and participate in the unique experience of scalloping. These Scalloping Charters operate during Citrus County’s Scalloping Season between July 1st and September 24th.

Scalloping is a popular pastime in the Crystal River area, with its shallow, typically clear waters providing the perfect habitat for these delectable shellfish. The bay scallop, which is the species typically targeted on these charters, has a fascinating life cycle that adds to the allure of the experience. 

a person that is standing in the grass

Bay scallops begin their lives as tiny larvae, floating in the water until they settle onto the seafloor and attach themselves to seagrass or other substrates. As they grow, they develop a shell and begin to move about the seafloor, using their shells to propel themselves through the water. Bay scallops feed primarily on algae and small particles in the water, filtering them through their gills. Bay scallops in Florida typically live to be around 1 year old, but some may make it to 1 and a half years old. With that in mind, FWC designs Scallop Season dates to correspond to the end of the Bay Scallops lifespan, to ensure sustainable populations. Nature’s Discovery’s captains keep that in mind and recommend to guests to keep the larger scallops, which have matured to adulthood and have been able to spawn, and allow the smaller scallops who are behind the majority in development to reach maturity as well.

Scalloping charters provide a unique opportunity to observe these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat, as well as to harvest them sustainably. Each person is typically allowed to harvest a limited number of scallops, ensuring that the population remains healthy and viable for future generations. The current limit is two gallons per person or ten gallons per boat, whichever figure is reached first. For example, two passengers may keep four gallons, and five or six passengers can keep up to ten. To maximize scallop collecting, first timers or less experienced snorkelers may want to add a seasoned in-water guide to teach them how to scallop and help them reach their harvesting limit. 

The scalloping experience is not only a fun and exciting adventure, but it also promotes an ethical approach to harvesting seafood. By participating in scalloping charters, visitors learn about the importance of sustainable fishing practices and the need to protect and preserve the delicate ecosystems that support bay scallops and other marine life. 

a green underwater

In addition to the thrill of the hunt, scalloping charters in Crystal River also offer a chance to connect with nature and appreciate the beauty of the Gulf Coast. The crystal-clear waters, abundant seagrass beds, and diverse marine life all contribute to a truly memorable and enriching experience. We often see sea turtles, crabs, dolphins, and a variety of fish species in Crystal River’s coastal waters.

Overall, Nature’s Discovery’s scalloping charters in Crystal River provide a unique and ethical way to enjoy the natural beauty of Florida’s coast while learning about the importance of sustainable seafood practices. Whether you are a seasoned scalloper or a first-time visitor, these charters offer an unforgettable experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression.

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