Created By: UF IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station
Steinhatchee Boat Ramp
1st Street East
Calling all seafood lovers! The Big Bend Shellfish Trail is a gastronomical exploration of dock-to-table destinations along the Big Bend coast. By following the longest shellfish trail in the U.S. and first in Florida, you can eat your fill of clams, crabs, scallops, shrimp, and oysters and learn about their fisheries. Here in Steinhatchee and Jena, you will visit educational kiosks and other points of interest that shine a light on the hidden world of local shellfish. How are they caught? What are the boats and gear types used? Where can I get some of that delicious bounty? This is the first stop on the driving tour.
The next kiosk at this location represents bay scallops. From this boat ramp, you can look out over the Steinhatchee River, which leads to the second-largest continuous area of seagrasses in the eastern Gulf, making it one of the most pristine places in the Big Bend region of Florida. In the town of Steinhatchee, bay scallops used to support a commercial fishery but now are only harvested recreationally, where healthy seagrass beds still support abundant scallops. Bring your own boat or hire a local charter for a fun-filled day of snorkeling and catching scallops. Nearby the park, you can find several locations to grab a cold drink and even stations for cleaning your scallops. Read the kiosk panel for more information about this popular recreational fishery.
The final kiosk at this location describes the Stone Crabs which represents an important Fishery in Steinhatchee. Stone crabs are one of Florida's most unique commodities. Only the claws are harvested, and stone crab claws are only available at certain times of the year. Read the kiosk for more in-depth information about the stone crab and traps used for harvest. Then, keep your eyes peeled around the area for stacks of wooden or plastic traps. Fishers stack the traps in the sun to combat fouling organisms such as barnacles and sea squirts that grow on the outside of the traps.
Continue your journey to the village of Jena, to learn more about Bay Scallops, Stone Crabs, and Blue Crabs.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Big Bend Shellfish Trail – Steinhatchee & Jena (Driving)