Wildlife officials: Scallops rebounding in Panhandle's St. Joseph Bay

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PORT ST. JOE, Florida — Officials are predicting a continuing rebound in St. Joseph Bay's scallop population.

The scallop harvesting season began over the weekend and runs through Sept. 24.

The News Herald of Panama City (http://bit.ly/1jCrKCt ) reports researchers studying St. Joseph Bay in Florida's Panhandle indicate that after a lean year in 2012, the scallop population started rebounding in 2013. It's expected to continue this year.

Surveys by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Research Institute in St. Petersburg indicate the average number of scallops observed in the bay doubled last year, though the distribution was spotty.

The wildlife agency is asking for the public's help in assessing the scallop population as well as how long it takes to find and harvest scallops. There is an online survey at http://svy.mk/bayscallops .

Information from: The (Panama City, Florida) News Herald, http://www.newsherald.com

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