Rainy weather might have kept crowds low for the first day of Gulf County’s scallop season on Tuesday, But Port St. Joe Police Chief Jake Richards said he and his crew expect traffic to pick up in the coming weeks.
The Port St. Joe Police Department is making preparations to accommodate increased crowds in the area in the coming days, particularly near the city’s Frank Pate Park boat ramp, he said at the August 16 City Commission meeting.
“We got down there at about six o’clock this morning and got everything set up, and hardly anybody showed up, bad weather and everything,” Richards said at the meeting. “I have somebody working today, tomorrow, then skipping Thursday… they’ll be there Friday and Saturday until scallop season’s over.”
“On Fridays and Saturdays there will be a crowd.”
The police department has redirected traffic going into Frank Pate and Clifford Sims parks in anticipation of an increased number of drivers trying to use the boat launch facility in that area.
“We’ve rerouted like we have for the last couple of years because it’s worked great,” Richards said. “It keeps traffic from backing up down to the red light.”
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Because parking in the area is limited, local officials have encouraged scallopers to carpool whenever possible.
Even with fewer scallopers than expected on Tuesday, the parking lots for the parks filled up.
Scallop season in Gulf County will run consecutively until September 24.
For more information about Gulf County’s scallop season and the associated rules and regulations visit the Star’s website at gulfcounty.news/