Scallop season returns to Pasco County for first time since 1994

PORT RICHEY, Fla. — Scalloping season returns to Pasco County for the first time since 1994 on Friday.

“There’s a good buzz that’s going on around here right now. People are excited,” said Tim Tonkin.

Scallops still abundant weeks into season in Citrus County

Tim Tonkin grew up here and remembers the good old days.

“It was very sad when they closed it down,” he said.

Now he and his wife own Sunset Landing Marina. They are part of the charters, boat rentals and restaurants hoping to benefit.

“Every other call is basically about scallops. Where are the scallops? They are right out there in the Gulf,” said Kristen Tonkin.

Scalloping, known as a family-friendly underwater Easter egg hunt, was off-limits in Pasco for so long because of declining scallop numbers.

After restoration efforts, Citrus and Hernando County reopened harvesting in 2002.

Now it is Pasco’s turn. The short trial season last 10 days from Friday to July 29.

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