Great Scalloping article in Gainesville Sun

Matt Stamey/The Gainesville Sun In this June 28, 2014 file photo, Heather Hamilton, then 11, carries a handful of scallops back to her boat after picking them from the grassy bottoms during the first day of scallop season ioff the coast of Steinhatchee.

Matt Stamey/The Gainesville Sun

In this June 28, 2014 file photo, Heather Hamilton, then 11, carries a handful of scallops back to her boat after picking them from the grassy bottoms during the first day of scallop season ioff the coast of Steinhatchee.

Here is a very informative article from the Gainesville Sun about 9 must haves for Scallop Season.

Going scalloping? 9 must-haves

I’m “going scalloping” is about to become a familiar refrain for those who are aficionados of the tasty mollusks and love to snorkel in shallow bay waters.

This year’s season runs from June 27 to Sept. 24.

The bay scallop zone is from the Pasco-Hernando County line to the west bank of the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County. The best scalloping spots in our area typically include Crystal River, Homosassa, Cedar Key and Steinhatchee.

Here’s what you need to participate in the annual fun event that some refer to as an underwater Easter egg hunt:

1) A salt water fishing license. Fees range from $17 for one year up to lifetime options. Go to http://myfwc.com/license/recreational/saltwater-fishing/

2) A boat. Scalloping is done near shore, but you still need a vessel to get out to the seagrass beds. Buy one, borrow one or rent one, at, for example, http://seahag.com/rental-fleet/

3) Diver down flag. This is not an option; it’s the law.

4) Snorkel/mask and fins. You become one with the giant aquarium this way.

5) Mesh bag. As you swim, you need a way to collect the scallops you find, which remain alive in the open fabric.

6) Dipper net. This is for people with a short reach or who might not want to touch the seagrass.

7) Spoon/knife/quart container. Choose a thin knife (curve the blade a bit) for separating the scallop from one shell; use the spoon to scoop the meat off the other shell; put the meat in the quart container.

8) Ice. Scallops are seafood collected in the sun and heat; keep them cold!

9) Food/beverages and sunscreen. You’ll work up an appetite and a thirst while scalloping — and the sun is merciless.

There are limits to how many scallops a person can harvest, and other rules as well. For the official scoop, go to http://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/bay-scallops. You can learn even more at www.flseagrant.org/fisheries/scalloping.
— By Susan Smiley-Height

Scallopalooza is this Saturday!

Come kick off the 2015 Scallop Season in style. Saturday June 27th 2015 at 11:00 a.m.

#scallopalozza2015

MUSIC * FOOD * FUN * FAMILY SATURDAY, JUNE 27th!Steinhatchee Scallopalooza $6 admission and kids 12 and under are FREE!11am-10pm... See you at the Parking Lot Party! #scallopalooza15

Posted by Steinhatchee Scallopalooza on Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Florida that time forgot - Travel - The Boston Globe

Recently an article about 5 places in Florida that time for got was published in the Boston Globe. Here is what they had to say about Steinhatchee.

STEINHATCHEE: Woods and water

Never heard of Steinhatchee? Neither have most Floridians. Located in the wild, river-laced forests of north central Florida, also known as the “nature coast,” this village of 1,600 folks is incredibly quiet — until scallop season, from July to mid-September, when the population swells and the Sea Hag Marina (352-498-3008, www.seahag.com) is abuzz with activity.

Anyone with a Florida saltwater fishing license (easily obtainable) can be a scalloper, and it’s a blast. You don a mask, snorkel, and fins, carry a mesh bag to hold your scallops, and head out in a boat through the Steinhatchee channel to the gulf, and then go north or south for several miles until the inshore waters become clear. Then you look for scallops hiding in the sea grass. They move by snapping their shells and spitting water out — kind of a sandy spurt — and propel themselves in a zigzag motion. Local restaurants, like Roy’s (352-498-5000, www.roys-restaurant.com), will cook your cleaned catch.

Other pursuits are equally outdoorsy, lsuch as paddling the Steinhatchee River and hiking the trails at (totally unimpressive, but interesting) Steinhatchee Falls, following in the footsteps of Timucuan Indians, Spanish explorers, and Civil War troops. Things get a little crazy during the annual Fiddler Crab Festival, held on President’s Day weekend, when everyone turns out for events like the fiddler crab races.

There’s nothing posh about this place, and that’s just the way the locals like it. “Our fine mall is the dollar store,” says Dean Fowler, owner of Steinhatchee Landing Resort. Designed to resemble a typical north Florida community from the early 1900s, Steinhatchee Landing (352-498-3513, www.steinhatcheelanding.com, from $140) is the best place to stay in this fishing village.

The nearest airport, Gainesville Regional, is nearly two hours away, so there’s no danger that Steinhatchee will change anytime soon. “This is the anti-Orlando,” says resident Kevin Kizer. “It’s the country side of Florida, a real blast from the past.”
— By Diane Bair and Pamela Wright