Tag Archive: Bust

Bay scallops: a boom and bust lifestyle

Bay scallops: a boom and bust lifestyle

Many species of animals go through dramatic swings in population numbers over time. For some, these fluctuations are related to the dynamics of a natural symbiotic connection such as a predator-prey relationship.  A classic example of this is the famous snowshoe hare/lynx model taught to all wildlife ecology students. The lynx numbers follow the hare numbers with a lag in the population upswings and downswings. For other species, it may simply be related to changing environmental conditions that they either do not tolerate well or that they thrive in. This is primarily the case with our panhandle bay scallop populations from year to year. During the time I’ve lived in North Florida I’ve experienced both ends of the spectrum during local scallop seasons. Some years, you can limit-out as fast as you can pluck them from the sea grass bed. Other times, the old adage of “finding a needle in a haystack” comes to mind. Over the past few years we have experienced some of these dramatic swings for various reasons.

Bay Scallop Argopecten iradians

Bay scallops are mostly an annual species, with spawning taking place as water temperatures drop quickly during fall cold fronts. Harvest numbers the following summer are a result of larvae that matured in a single season. Occasionally, you will find an old “mossy-back” that is significantly larger and likely a holdover from the previous season. During spawning, a single scallop can release millions of eggs but very few survive to adulthood and throughout their brief lifespan they are susceptible to many mortality factors.
Predation by crabs, sea stars and several species of marine snails takes a toll but is generally not the driving force in significant declines.

 

One factor that does have population-level impacts is the amount of rainfall locally. Too much freshwater will create physiological stress and kill scallops over large areas. They can also be hammered by extreme heat or cold events due to their nature of inhabiting relatively shallow coastal waters. Other population pressures may not be so obvious because they sneak up on scallops gradually rather than happening all of a sudden. Factors such as propeller scarring in seagrass beds and siltation from terrestrial runoff or human activities, can have a cumulative effect that gradually degrades the seagrass habitat where scallops live. Another factor that can cause near-extinction of local populations is the occurrence of harmful algal blooms such as red tide. The toxins produced by these marine dinoflagellates will kill fish, marine mammals and shellfish alike. This is what happened to the scallops in St. Joseph Bay during the fall of 2015 when a red tide bloom killed most of the spawning population.
A more recent event in St. Joseph Bay, that put a damper on the 2017 season, was a bloom of a different marine dinoflagellate species known as Pseudo-nitzschia. This organism can produce a toxin known as domoic acid which can cause amnesic shellfish poisoning in humans. Thankfully, it is not expected to harm the shellfish themselves and next season may be a real bumper year. That is, if everything else that can go wrong for a scallop decides to give them a bit of a break. When environmental conditions are good, it is astounding what Mother Nature will provide. Put on your snorkel gear and check it out!  For information on seasons and more detailed biology visit the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute’s webpage here.  For some tasty recipes check out the Fresh From Florida page here.

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Author: Erik Lovestrand – elovestrand@ufl.edu

Erik Lovestrand

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/25/bay-scallops-a-boom-and-bust-lifestyle/

Bust Boredom and Extend Learning through Summer

4-H summer programs allow youth to explore a variety of topics- from animal science to robotics! Photo credit: Heather Kent, UF IFAS Extension

With the end of the school year approaching, many parents are puzzling over what to do with their children during the 8-10 weeks of summer vacation.  Fortunately, 4-H has the solution to bust summertime boredom and extend learning while exploring a variety of topics- such as sewing, gardening, culinary arts or even robotics and engineering.  4-H camps are different from most other camping programs because they are framed around the essential elements of positive youth development and are intentionally structured to promote the development of life and workforce skills such as communication, decision-making and appreciation of differences.  4-H camps are staffed by caring teen and adult volunteers who have been screened, oriented and trained according to federal and state law, and incorporate best practices for risk management to insure a physically and emotionally safe environment.  The connection of 4-H to land grant universities like the University of Florida also means that camp curriculum is based on the best knowledge available about any given project utilizing inquiry and learn-by-doing methods.

Below you can find a list of day camps that will be offered throughout the Florida panhandle. Counties also offer week long overnight camps at Camp Timpoochee or Camp Cherry Lake.  In addition to camp, 4-H offers overnight leadership experiences for middle school and high school youth, such as Intermediate State (June 2-4th), 4-H Legislature (June 26-30th), and 4-H University (July 31-August 3rd).  Click on the county links below for more information or contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office.

Bay

  • Tailgating Grilling Workshop, June 5-9, 1pm – 5pm
  • Bots by the Bay, July 5-7, AF youth (active duty, guard, reserve or retired) age 13-15, 8am-6pm
  • Bots by the Bay, July 10-14, AF youth (active duty, guard, reserve or retired) age 16-18, 8am-6pm

Escambia

  • Beginner Sewing Day Camp, June 13-15, 9AM -3PM
  • Breakfast Day Camp, June 21-22; 9AM-3PM
  • Tailgate Day Camp- July 5-9, 9AM-3PM
  • Intermediate Sewing Day Camp- July 18 and 20, 9AM-3PM
  • CSI Day Camp- July 17 and 19th, 9AM-3PM

Gadsden

  • Sew Fun, Sew Easy, June 26-30th, 8AM-5PM
  • Marvels of Engineering, July 25-28th, 8AM-5PM
  • Farm to Table: the Youth Experience, July 6th– 8AM-5PM
  • Youth Poultry Clinic- July 8th, 8AM-5PM

Holmes

  • Poultry Perfection- June 2nd, 9:30AM-2PM
  • Cloverbud Crazy Art Day Camp- June 8th– 8AM-2PM
  • Tailgating Grilling Workshop- June 27-29th, 8AM-3PM
  • Animal Science Field Day- July 11th, 8AM-4PM
  • Junk Drawer Robotics Day Camp- July 25-27, 9AM-3PM

Jackson

  • Poultry Perfection- June 2nd, 9:30AM-2PM
  • Tailgating Day Camp- June 5-7th, 8AM-12PM
  • Equine Clinic- June 13th, 9AM-3PM
  • Livestock Nutrition Workshop- June 29th, 9AM-2PM
  • Poultry Day Camp- July 7th– 9AM-3PM
  • Goat Workshop- July 13st- 9AM-3PM
  • Livestock Skillathon Camp- July 17th-19th, 8:30AM-11:30AM
  • Robotics Camp- July 25th-27th– 9AM-3PM

Jefferson

  • Wildlife Day Camp- July 10-15th
  • Cloverbud Camp- July 18-21st
  • 8-9 year old camp- June 5-9th
  • Cooking 101- August 2-4th
  • Reading Makes Cents- June 14-16th

Leon

  • Farm your Backyard Camp- June 27th-30th, 9AM-4PM
  • Sewing for All Skill Levels (FULL- call to be placed on the waiting list)
  • Junk Drawer Robotics Day Camp- July 25-27th, 9AM-4PM
  • Wildlife Explorers Camp- July 10-14th (FULL- call to be places on the waiting list)
  • Tailgate Grilling Camp- June 27-29th– (FULL- call to be places on the waiting list)
  • #Adulting- June 15, June 22, July 6, July 13th– 9AM-4PM
  • Poultry Day Camp- July 7tth 9AM-5PM (FULL- call to be places on the waiting list)
  • Gardening for Cloverbuds (5-7 year olds)- July 14th, 8:30AM-12PM

Liberty

  • Tailgate Grilling Workshop, June 27, 28 & 29
  • Entomology Day Camp- July 11-12th
  • Robotics Day Camp- July 25-27th
  • 21st Century 4-H Day Camps- a variety of topics taught over the summer for youth enrolled in the 21st Century Learning programs at Tolar and Hosford schools

Wakulla

  • Cooking Camp- June 12-14th, 9AM-3PM
  • Gourmet Cooking Camp with Mr. John- June 15th-16th, 9AM-3PM
  • 101 Sewing Camp- July 10-12, 8AM-5PM
  • All About Animals- July 24-26th, 8AM-2PM
  • Insect Camp- July 19-21, 9AM-3PM

Walton

  • Tailgator Day Camp- July 10-12th, 8:30AM-4PM
  • Sew Fantastic Day Camp- July 6th
  • Cloverbud Chefs Extreme Cuisine- June 7-8
  • 4-H Extreme Cuisine- June 27th– 29th; 8:30AM-4PM
  • Ag-Ventures, July 18-19th, 8:30AM-4PM
  • Build a Bot Day Camp- July 25-27th, 9AM-4PM

Washington

  • Poultry Perfection Workshop- June 2; 9:30 am-2 pm
  • Tailgate Grilling Workshop, June 27, 28 & 29, 8 am-Noon
  • Beef Research Center Workshop- July 11; 8 am-2pm
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Author: Heather Kent – hckent@ufl.edu

Heather Kent is the Regional Specialized 4-H Agent in the Northwest Extension District.

Heather Kent

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/05/17/bust-boredom-and-extend-learning-through-summer/