Bay scallop season is now in full swing across the Island, with all towns but Aquinnah open for family scalloping, and commercial seasons set to open in some places Monday.
Recreational scalloping opened in the Lagoon Pond on Saturday in Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven. Family permit holders were out on the pond, taking advantage of a mild November day to collect heaping baskets of scallops. Edgartown, Oak Bluffs and Chilmark opened their family seasons in October.
The commercial scallop season opened in Chilmark on Nov. 1. Commercial seasons open in Edgartown and Vineyard Haven (Lagoon) on Monday. Oak Bluffs opened its commercial season in late October. Aquinnah typically opens its season later in the fall. Last year was a banner year for bay scallops up-Island, and the season was extended well into late spring for the first time in recent memory.
Early harvest reports this year are average to good.
Once prevalent from Cape Cod to Long Island, bay scallops today are largely unique to Southeastern Massachusetts with wild scallop beds still found on the Vineyard, Nantucket and outer Cape Cod. The disappearance of the scallops is tied directly to disappearing eel grass beds, which are sensitive to pollution.