Family Scallop Season, a Nantucket Fall tradition, begins on October 1. Its a great way to spend the day on the water gathering the tastiest scallops the ocean has to offer.
To take part in this fun activity you will need a permit and prominently display your shellfishing button. If you’re snorkeling, pin it to your dive flag. Annual resident shellfishing licenses are $35, free for those over 60. Non-resident licenses are $125 for the year and $50 for a single-week license. Licenses are available at the Nantucket Public Safety Building, 4 Fairgrounds Road. You can also order permits here and pick them the next day at 4 Fairgrounds Road.
Before you head out to Nantucket and Madaket Harbor with all of your gear, take a look at these helpful tips prepared by Harbormaster Sheila Lucey and Jeff Carlson, head of the town’s natural resources department.
- If you wear waders, make sure they have a belt. That way, water can’t get past your waist and into your boots, dragging you down. A life-jacket can’t hurt, either.
- Go out with a buddy. They can help you if you get in trouble, and you’ll have someone to talk to if pickings are slim.
- If you’re snorkeling, make sure you have a dive flag to let boaters and other scallopers know where you are.
- Be careful where you are walking. You can use your push-rake to test the bottom and reach someone in trouble.
- You may only take one bushel of scallops per week.
- Harvestable scallops must have a well-defined growth ring. “When in doubt, throw it out.”