Bay scallops range from Nova Scotia to the Gulf of Mexico, most often in shallow coastal bays and estuaries.
Bay scallops grow to about 3 inches in diameter, rarely living beyond three years of age. Their ribbed shells vary in color. Individuals may be bluish-black, orange-white, or reddish-brown.
Bay scallop populations are known to experience cycles of abundance and scarcity. Young bay scallops depend on eelgrass beds for shelter, which makes them particularly susceptible to water quality issues.
In most areas, bay scallop fisheries are conducted by small scale, independent fishermen. Bay scallops are harvested by hand, diving, dredging, and netting.