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. If you miss out on Retro Futura tour, you'll be needing a little 'Tenderness'

    Blogs

    Closing out Retro Futura Week is a little bit of a cheat. We started the week with the English Beat and we end it with an offshoot of the Beat, the band General Public and their hit …

  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Aug. 20

    Events

    The Art of the Brick: An elaborate display of more than 100 pieces of Lego artwork including the life sized sculpture of a man ripping open his chest, a 20-foot-long T. rex skeleton, a giant skull and replicas of famous works including Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night and Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona …

    Eliana Goldberg, 5, of Wesley Chapel looks at a Lego sculpture called "Everlasting" at The Art of the Brick exhibit, which opened Friday in Tampa and runs through Sept. 4. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]
  3. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Aug. 19

    Events

    Monster Jam Triple Threat Series: Come early for the Pit Party ($15 or free at local Ford dealers) to meet the drivers and get pictures with the trucks. 7 p.m., Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $15-$80. (813) 301-2500.

    A crew member from the El Toro Loco monster truck, installs a truck tire, Thursday, 8/17/17 in preparation for Saturday's  Monster Jam Triple Threat Series at Amalie Arena, Tampa. The event will be held Saturday at 1pm and 7 pm.
  5. There's a bar in Tampa where you can roller skate and eat sushi

    Food & Dining

    Roller skating, it's not just for kids birthday parties and the 1970s anymore.

    The exterior of Pattinis features this mural by Art Aliens! [Pattinis South Tampa via Facebook]