2021 Scallop Season Coming Soon!

Posted August 6, 2021

Scalloping in St Joseph Bay in Port St. Joe Florida

It’s that time of year again that all who cherish Florida’s Forgotten Coast look forward to. The 2021 Scallop Season officially opens on August 16th and ends on September 24th so grab your snorkeling gear and get ready! Scallopers are limited to 2 gallons of whole bay scallops in shell or 1 pint of bay scallop meat per person. Per vessel, a maximum of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in shell or 1/2 gallon bay scallop meat (1/2 gallon = 4 pints) is the limit. Vessel limits do not allow an individual to exceed their personal bag limit. These limits are set by Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission so please be respectful of them! For safety, always bring a dive flag with you while you’re in the water. Oh, and don’t forget your sunscreen!

Here are some items you’ll need on your Scalloping journey!

•Mask
•Snorkel
•Booties or water shoes
•Gloves
•Dive bag or net
•Fins
•Dive flag
•50 SPF or above sunscreen

Tips after gathering your Scallops

Immediately place scallops in a cooler on ice. After awhile on ice they will open up on their own making the cleaning process easier. This also keeps the meat from spoiling. Use gloves and a scalloping knife (short and dull blade) to fully open the scallop from the rear section of the shell. Use a spoon and scoop the bottom of the shell to pull the full scallop meat off the shell. *Save and freeze the guts for fishing with at a later time!

Cooking tips for Scallops

Butter, garlic, lemon juice, and salt & pepper in a frying pan on medium heat until golden brown is some of our favorite methods for cooking our scallops!
Alternatively, we LOVE a home made seafood spaghetti–mixing our cooked scallops, as well as cooked shrimp, in a bowl of spaghetti and sauce. Works as an alfredo too!

After the Storm: Hurricane Sally Edition

Posted September 22, 2020

Captured on September 17th showing the aftermath of the effects Hurricane Sally had on the beaches of Florida’s Forgotten Coast. Showing Cape San Blas, Money Bayou, and Indian Pass areas. Hurricane Sally brought heavy rain, wind, and a high storm surge causing worry that our newly renourished beaches had eroded. What erosion and flooding did our beaches face?

2020 Mexico Beach Gumbo Cook-off Coming Up!

Posted February 14, 2020

February 22, 2020 10:00am central time

February 2020 is here which means the return of local and guest favorite alike–the Mexico Beach Gumbo Cook off!

The 2020 Mexico Beach 21st Annual Mexico Beach Gumbo Cook-Off will take place on February 22 starting at 10am central time. Come enjoy a variety of all types of gumbo and more! This year’s event will take place at the Boat Ramp Park, a new venue that is located just off Highway 98 with plenty of parking and enjoyment along the Mexico Beach canal waterway. For those anxious in signing up and putting their legendary recipe to the test, please click here for a complete entry form.

Bring your friends and family because there will be tons of great gumbo and Brunswick stew to enjoy! This event is free to enter, and the only costs are for food and beverage. Tickets will be available for purchase for gumbo servings. Live music can also be enjoyed! All proceeds raised from this event will go toward the Special Events for Mexico Beach’s Best Blast on the Beach July 4th firework show.

To learn more, visit https://mexicobeach.com/calendar_event/

Celebrating Our Spectacular Local Eco-Systems

Posted December 11, 2019

Northwest Florida’s most valuable asset is without question its natural environment with breathtaking beaches, hundreds of miles of protected forests and intricate waterways attracting visitors from near and far.  With a goal of promoting preservation and conservation, two outstanding research centers offer interactive, hands on experiences that offer insight into the delicate and unique eco-systems found along the coast.

Reserve Nature Center

In Franklin County, the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve includes the Reserve Nature Center with opportunities to learn about stewardship of the Apalachicola River and Bay. Walton County’s E.O Wilson Biophilia Center on the Nokuse Plantation in Freeport educates with interpretive exhibits as well as an extensive trail system.  Each center provides public and school-based education programs with similar missions of promoting preservation of Florida’s natural resources. 

Reserve Nature Center Boardwalk
Reserve Nature Center Crocodile skeleton

Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve Nature Center

Open since 2011, The Reserve Nature Center features a variety of educational, interactive and live exhibits.  Multiple aquariums display local fauna from the river, estuary, bay, and Gulf.  A theater room features showings of a short documentary highlighting the Apalachicola River and Bay eco-system while boardwalks that surround the system showcase marsh and flat wood habitats and end with a platform overlooking St. George Sound.  Adjacent Millender Park proves public access to picnic pavilions and a bayshore beach.

Biophilia Center

Educational programs focus on K-12 students and teacher in Franklin County and are designed to support the long tradition of the community’s stewardship of Apalachicola Bay.  Each year, Franklin County students participate in hands-on ecology programs that are aligned with specific grade standards.  A variety of workshops that are open to the public include Bay-Friendly Landscaping, Seagrass Snorkel Class, Oysters 101, a weekly Sea Turtle Talk during sea turtle nesting season and a monthly ‘Reserve Wednesday’ talk with topics relating to the area’s interconnected coastal communities. 

Biophilia Center kids on a bridge

Each fall, the center hosts National Estuaries Day where attendees are invited to tour the Nature Center, interact with ANERR staff and volunteers and play educational games while learning about estuarine ecology.  Additional annual events include Archaeology Day in spring, and a Birding the Bay celebration in April with guided birding tours in the coastal and upland habitats of the reserve. 

For more information, visit www.ApalachicolaReserve.com