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Steinhatchee Landing Gives Scoop on 2008 Scallop Season


STEINHATCHEE, Fla. (May 9, 2008) - Three miles upstream from the Gulf of Mexico in Florida's Big Bend area, the riverside retreat of Steinhatchee Landing Resort is preparing for the 2008 scallop season, July 1 through September 10.  The unique ecosystem in this part of the gulf, known as Dead Man's Bay, is a breeding ground for the delicious bay scallops, and area charter captains, guides and marine researchers are predicting 2008 to be a banner year for scalloping.  The Landing's collection of Victorian, Georgian and Florida Cracker-style cottages on along the Steinhatchee River is a favorite choice for visitors who love to comb the waters for this tasty treat. 

A perfect activity for families, scalloping best resembles snorkeling, but with the simple addition of a mesh bag for storing your harvest.  Most scallops can be found in the shallow, grass flats of the Gulf of Mexico that range anywhere from three to six-feet deep. 

"Of all the water activities to do in Florida, this is really something quite unique," said Dean Fowler, developer of Steinhatchee Landing Resort.  "It's easy to do and doesn't require a lot of special equipment, and this year it sounds like our guests will enjoy easy hunting." 

According to recent surveys of the bay scallop population by the Florida Marine Research Institute, the 2008 harvest should be big.  Similar predictions are being made by area kayak tour guides, fisherman and charter captains who have reported seeing scallops earlier and more prevalent than previous years. 

As countless guests of the resort have discovered, the Landing is the perfect place to rest and relax after a full day of wading and scooping scallops.  A short and scenic three-mile boat ride upstream from the Gulf, the resort offers one- to four-bedroom cottages, each luxuriously equipped with central air, TV/DVD, stereo, phones, washer/dryer and full kitchen - perfect for preparing the day's harvest of fresh Florida scallops.

Resort amenities are going to be big this year, too, with the addition of a new pool and pavilion area offering a children's playground, table tennis, fitness center, an indoor swim spa and three-person sauna.  The resort also offers paddling, croquet, tennis and archery, and more than 20 boat slips available to guests at a nominal charge.  The resort's staff can make arrangements for guided scallop excursions, as well as inshore, offshore and fly fishing trips.  Summer cottage rates begin at just $220 per night.

A peaceful drive from any direction, Steinhatchee Landing Resort is just 75 miles west of Gainesville, and a two-and-a-half hour drive from Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa Bay.  To book your stay, call toll-free (800) 584-1709 or (352) 498-3513 or visit

Scalloping 101
If all you know about scallops is that they taste good, read on for what you need to know to plan an exciting scalloping outing at Steinhatchee Landing Resort.

* You'll need a recreational saltwater fishing license.  An annual license for Floridians is $17, and $17 for a three-day license if visiting.  Your local tax collector's office is the least expensive location to purchase a license, with most marinas and bait-and-tackle shops charging a small service fee.  The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission makes purchasing a license easy by dialing toll free 1-888-FISH-FLORIDA (347-4356), or by visiting

* State law limits each harvester to two gallons of whole scallops in the shell, or one pint of bay scallop meat, per day.  Make the most of the season by staying a while!

* Suggested equipment includes a mask, fins, snorkel, lots of waterproof sunblock, and a mesh bag for storing your harvest.  A landing or dip net also comes in handy.

* In the waters off Steinhatchee, scallops seem to prefer areas of bottom covered by thin, round-bladed types of sea grass.  Patches of brown algae are also favorite hiding places.  Once you see a few scallops lying on top of the sea grasses, drop the anchor, put up a dive flag and start collecting.

* Store the scallops on ice immediately after harvesting. This opens the shells, making cleaning easier.

* To clean the scallop, hold it with the dark side of the scallop facing up, and use a scallop knife or a spoon to open and remove the top shell.

* Using the scallop knife or spoon, scrape the dark innards from the hinge toward the front of the shell, holding the innards with your thumb. The innards should peel off cleanly, leaving the scallop intact.

* Simply scrape the scallop away from the shell, and you're ready to cook!

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