Well, River Ventures family and followers... it's the time of year many of us have been waiting for! Winter is over, school's out, the sun is shining and scallop season is nearly upon us!! Our first boats that went out scouting this year have informed us that the grass beds are looking good, rich with wildlife, healthy seagrass and of course our favorite bivalve mollusk… the SCALLOP! If you haven't heard the news, the seagrass beds off the Crystal and Homosassa River have been declared the healthiest beds in the hemisphere! We have 400,000 acres of seagrass beds, rated pristine and this makes Citrus County THE BEST PLACE for recreational scallop harvesting!
A scallop is a mollusk that propels itself across the ocean floor by forcing water through its shell. What does a scallop look like in the water? Scallop shells are quite pretty and have a ruffled edge. You have seen the iconic scallop shell shape everywhere from home decor to fashion! They rest in the shallow grass beds in the gulf of Mexico, and we often spot them as they open in the sunshine to expose their blue eyes! They range in color from white to grey to a peachy coral... and the colorful ones are simply gorgeous! Last year we found some that were bright orange. Part snorkeling adventure, part underwater Easter egg hunt and part saltwater fishing trip, scalloping along the unspoiled shores of the Homosassa and Crystal River provides a salty adventure to people of all ages! The last few scallop seasons have been fantastic and more and more seafood lovers from all over the globe venture to our local waters to dive for these meaty morsels… having an ocean of fun as they bag their limit!
Citrus County is a Mecca for Florida scallopers, with multiple successful seasons under our belt! Of course we are a bit biased, but we believe that in addition to the pristine grass beds, we have so much to offer! The beautiful blue springs, our friends the manatees, wildlife galore and a local community culture that is unsurpassed in Florida. This is a very special place if you haven't noticed! Yes, you can swim with manatees, take air boat rides, visit a local park with absolutely no lines or overpriced parking... and then take your scallops home to eat!
If you don't want to cook them yourself, simply ask us for a recommendation of a local restaurant that will make your delicious fare with flair! This year we will have 'Two Pops Sandwich Shop' right on site at River Safaris to cook your catch with your choice of sides. If you want FRESH, you can not beat this! We love our scallops blackened, pan fried with some spice OR sauteed in garlic and butter with pasta and veggies (ask us about Erin's special recipe). I'M GETTING HUNGRY just thinking about it!!
Here at River Ventures and Safaris we have many scallop options for your family including departures from both our Crystal River and Homosassa locations this year. More than any other operator, we can accommodate groups small and large with the finest Captains in the biz. This year we are also proud to bring back our 'Ultimate Voyage' that combines our scallop excursion with our manatee adventure for a full day of fun! We ride out to the Gulf on a comfortable luxury pontoon, then return to the springs for a fresh water dunk and manatee encounter... this is an incredible day and perfect for an adventurous family looking for a break from the amusement parks!
We are also proud to add another fine pontoon to our scallop fleet in Homosassa. Your family does not need to take a charter on a tight boat with little seating and comfort. WE HAVE YOU COVERED, literally, on our scallop pontoons that offer more than just a typical fishing vessel! Our Captains are confident, experienced and provide you with everything you need for a relaxed day of fun!