PASCO COUNTY, Fla. -- It’s day two of the return of scalloping in Pasco County.
- Pasco residents to scallop again
- Scalloping greatly impacts Pasco tourism
- Scalloping season runs until July 29
Folks can swim for offshore scallops for the first time in 24 years.
Being back after so long means scalloping is already having a big impact on the county's tourism.
It’s like Christmas in July for Captain Wendy Longman. She’s been waiting for years for scalloping to return to Pasco.
“I’m ecstatic. Over the moon. Very excited,” Longman said.
Folks are lining up to rent boats from her and other companies to go scalloping. Many like Jonathan Davila are hitting the water in Pasco County for the first time ever.
“We found it was recently reopened in Pasco and it was really convenient for us because we only live 20 minutes away," Davilla said. "We said why not try scalloping here in Pasco instead of going too far north."
Pasco County Commissioner Mike Wells says scalloping is big for the county's tourism.
“I’d be lying if I said it’s not about economic development. It’s about tourism," Wells said. "We don’t have beaches like Pinellas does. This Nature Coast that’s out here is beautiful. There’s so much here."
Longman is on Pasco’s tourism council and believes this new trial period will not only help now but also in two years when scalloping is expected to be back for a full season.
“There will be more people renting cars, staying in hotels. More people eating in restaurants. It’s just a really wonderful thing for the entire county,” Longman said.
The scalloping season in Pasco runs until July 29. There will be another limited season next year as well.