Sarasota Bay Watch prepares for the Great Scallop Search of 2017
When: 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Aug. 26
Where: Sarasota Sailing Squadron, 1717 Ken Thompson Parkway
Cost: Free but reservations are required
Contact: sarasotabaywatch.org or (941) 232-2363
Adult scallops filter 100 gallons of water a day but only live for one year. Adult clams can filter 50 gallons of water a day and live for 30 years or more.
As filter feeders, both are essential to a healthy bay, which is why this year, the Sarasota Bay Watch is asking citizens to look for both during the Great Scallop Search of 2017.
“We should change the name to shellfish search,” Sarasota Bay Watch President Larry Stults said.
This year’s search will take place from 8 a.m. to noon on Aug. 26 at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron.
“This is not a harvesting event,” programming director Rhonda Ryan said. “This is an event for citizen scientists to evaluate the local population of scallops and clams.”
Aside from noting Southern hard shell clams, citizen scientists will have the option to explore the north end of Longboat and beyond, a new concept this year.
On Aug. 18, those who register to explore the northern areas will be asked to attend an orientation at Anna Maria Island Sail and Power Squadron to learn more about searching that region.
The scallops found help the Sarasota Bay Watch evaluate age and approximate time of death of those scallops. They can also be used for educational purposes.