Make us your home page
Instagram

Take it Outside Planner: Scallop season is here, paddle the preserve, emergency beacon rental

HIT THE TRAIL: Local preserves

Take advantage and give back to local nature preserves this weekend. Friends of Brooker Creek invite nature lovers to Return the Preserve Day 8-11 a.m. Saturday to help rid the preserve of exotic, invasive vegetation and nuisance plants. Bring work gloves and yard tools. Water and snacks will be provided. Best for ages 12 and older. Free. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800.

When the day is done, head to Boyd Hill Nature Preserve for a Twilight Canoe on the Lake. Paddle out before the sun sets and watch twilight settle over the water. For $15 you get a spot in one of the preserve's tandem canoes. It's limited to 15 people for ages 8 and up so call to reserve a spot at (727) 893-7326. The twilight paddle is 6-8:30 p.m. Saturday at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, 1101 Country Club Way S, St. Petersburg.

TREASURE HUNT: Scallop season under way

Florida's bay scalloping season opened June 25, which means the boat ramps in Hernando and Citrus counties are hopping with hungry hunters eager to check out the scallop beds in northern Homosassa, Crystal River and Steinhatchee, which are among the richest in the state. And it's looking like a very good year, according to the annual "abundance survey" conducted by the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The region, which extends from south of the Chassahowitzka River estuary north to Crystal River, has a higher density of the shellfish this year than at any time since 2012, the agency reports. Florida Sea Grant, a university-based research and education program, this year has published brochures at flseagrant.org with marina and boat ramp maps, recommended size limits to keep the crop sustainable, as well as recipes and information on how to clean and dispose of shells. Experts suggest when you head out for scallops, start early. Aim to be on the water before sunrise, and finish before noon to avoid storms and crowded boat ramps. Tides and location are among other important considerations. Adults need a fishing license to harvest scallops, and the boat must display a dive flag anytime divers are in the water. For details on harvest regulations, visit myfwc.com. For scallop trips, check out homosassaredfish.com or the charters at homosassainshorefishing.com. The season ends Sept. 24.

SAFETY FIRST: Emergency beacon rental

If you are looking for some extra security when away from your home port this summer, the Sea Tow Foundation and ACR Electronics have launched a new emergency beacon rental program, allowing boaters to rent Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) and Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs). It typically costs $150 to $500 to own one of these critical safety features that let you tell family and friends you are okay or send out an SOS signal. But boaters can rent one through boatingsafety.com for $45 to $65 a week. An EPIRB is registered to a vessel, designed to be mounted on a boat, and will emit a distress signal for an extended period of time. A PLB is smaller and intended to be worn. It's a small price to pay for safety. All proceeds earned from the beacon rentals will be reinvested into Sea Tow Foundation's other programs, such as the Designated Skipper Campaign to promote sober boating and the Life Jacket Loaner Program.

Take it Outside Planner: Scallop season is here, paddle the preserve, emergency beacon rental 07/13/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 13, 2016 10:55am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Glen Campbell's wife Kim discusses challenges, guilt caregivers of Alzheimer's patients, others face

    Life Times

    If there's one thing Kim Campbell would change about caregiving for Alzheimer's patients, it's the attitude so many of us have toward transferring a loved one from home to a long-term care facility. According to Campbell, it's often the most kind, loving decision you can make. It's not a sign of failure, but one of …

    Kim Campbell, wife of country music legend Glen Campbell, is acknowledged by those attending the free event where she shared the story of her personal journey with Alzheimer???‚??„?s disease and the struggles she faced caring for her husband on Friday (5/26/17) at the Suncoast Hospice's Empath Health Service Center in Clearwater. Empath Choices for Care, a member of Empath Health, and Arden Courts Memory Care hosted the free event where Kim shared her story to help others understand the early stages, how the disease changes lives, the challenges families face and the role of caregiver.
  2. What happened when I took my dad to a Pitbull concert

    Music & Concerts

    TAMPA — "So, you know how you like Pitbull?" I asked my dad. "We can see him."

    Selfie of Divya Kumar and Anand Kumar at Pitbull/Enrique Iglesias concert.
  3. Tampa City Council votes to accept travel invitation from Cuban ambassador

    Blogs

    The invitation came to Tampa City Council chairwoman Yvonne Yolie Capin in a June 9 letter from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.

    The Tampa City Council voted 6-0, with Frank Reddick out of the room, to respond to a travel invitation from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 25

    Events

    St. Pete Pride Festival: The daytime festival covers Central Avenue's Grand Central District with more than 350 vendors, multiple stages, live music, art and food. 9 a.m., Grand Central District, 2429 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 342-0084.

    Kristen Whalen poses for a photo before the start of the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg last year. It's that time of year again, so check with us for your planning purposes. [LUIS SANTANA  |   Times (2016)]
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 24

    Events

    St. Pete Pride Block Party and Night Parade: St. Pete Pride's popular parade moves to downtown St. Petersburg's scenic waterfront. The block party brings DJs, food and drinks starting at 2 p.m. The parade steps off at Fifth Ave NE and Bayshore at 7 p.m. with fireworks at 9:45 p.m. 2 p.m., North Straub Park, Fifth …

    Thousands line the streets of Central Ave. during the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg.  [Saturday, June 25, 2016] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]