Charlie Manwaring, owner of the Southold Fish Market, said from what he's seen on the first day of the season, "It's okay. It's not as good as last year, as of right now. A lot of guys that came in didn't have their limit."
While commercial fishermen are allowed 10 bushels per day, per man, some of Manwaring's anglers brought in only "six or eight bags."
Reasons for the smaller number of scallops vary, he added. "Everyone has been saying there was a lot of dead stuff." The loss of scallops could be due to predators and other factors, he said.
Due to the lower yields, "Prices are going to start up a little higher this year," Manwaring said.
Despite the lesser number, Manwaring said the scallops are still delicious. "They're good — there's just not as many," he said. "We ate quite a few already."
The first day is usually a good indicator of how the season will unfold, Manwaring said. "It doesn't look like a banner year. It looks like an okay year," he said.
Manwaring said his fishermen still have a few spots they couldn't reach Monday due to winds, so he was hoping for better yields in the days to come.
Mike, a manager at Braun Seafood in Cutchogue, agreed that the number of Peconic Bay scallops was "a little less than last year."
He added, "You don't know the first day. The second day might be better."
Reasons for the decrease, he said, could have to do with predators, how they spawned last year, water quality and other issues. "A lot of different things make it good and bad," he said.
He added that Braun hasn't yet decided on whether or not to raise prices.