Peconic Bay Scallops 2012
In the "Scallops from the Cape, Vineyard, or Nantucket?" thread there was a mention of the Peconic Bay Scallop crop being affected by Sandy. Yesterday I was out on the North Fork and wanted to find out. Southold Fish Market had the sign out by the road, but they were closed yesterday. We stopped at Braun's and they had a nice supply at $19 lb. They were excellent last night.
This morning Newsday (online) had an article called "Scallop season ruined after Sandy". A quote; "But something yet to be identified began killing off many of the scallops, and superstorm Sandy finished the job." I did read about Red Tide concerns recently. Another quote; "It's devastating," said Eric Schultz, president of the Southold Town trustees, an independently elected body that protects the town's natural resources. "There was so much hope... Now they're gone."
If I read the article before, I might not have even looked or bought if I did find. I guess they're out there in limited numbers and limited areas that are open. November 20th should end the restrictions, barring any other issues. I guess then we'll know the actual numbers.
They did have them at Braun's, as the OP said, $19/lb. Higher I guess than the last 2 years, but they had lots of them. The guy who served us said they were getting in good supplies. We thought we were getting the last of what they had, but the guy came out with a 5 gal bucket filled to the brim to refill the counter. Oh....they were as delicious as always, both raw and cooked!
There was an algae problem in late summer/early fall. It wasn't red tide, nor was it an unknown organism. it was a dinoflagellate that stayed together rather than spreading through the water column. Even though they are toxic to shellfish, the scallops were supposedly able to move away from them. I saw this stuff myself in Cutchogue Columbus Day weekend. The algae looked like reddish brown strands of snot in the water, but there were lots of live scallops to be seen at the creek end of the channel. 2 weeks later the algae was gone, and there were fewer scallops, but they were still some there. Can't say that the algae was the reason for why there were fewer- any 2 days will show you totally different numbers anyway. The hurricane caused an automatic closure- this is done routinely after major storms, even before testing is done. Shellfish beds were to reopen on 11/13, instead they opened a week earlier because the water quality was better than expected in most of the area.