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Well defined growth ring

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Back when there were lots of scallops in Chatham, mid 80's, a well defined growth ring was defined as you could feel it with your thumbnail.   size of the scallop itself has no bearing on it's legality to keep.

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look for the big ring, usually about halfway up the shell and raised. the scallops goes through a big growth spurt from year one to year two. they only live up to 28 months at the most. the key for the ring means they are after a year old and have most likely spawned. taking scallops without a ring only means the spawning stock will be smaller for the following year.

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this picture illustrates the ring nicely. look at the color change as well..the point is, you'll know it's legal pretty easily. if there is a question, throw it back.

bushel_of_scallops-696x464.jpg

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