This winter scallops have been thick in Pamlico Sound. Even if you don't wade out into the water you know there are scallops because Highway 12 is littered with broken shells. Sea gulls have learned to pluck the scallops from the shallow waters, carry them high into the air, then drop them (on the hard packed beach, or on the paved road).
Cautious motorists avoid the shells whenever possible because the sharp edges often cut rubber tires.
Earlier this winter word spread that authorities were refusing to open a season for scallops. Local fishermen and residents were frustrated because the scallops were so thick...and had already spawned. But on the day I left the island I learned that a season had been opened. Commercial fishermen can now harvest scallops on weekdays; recreational scallopers are limited to weekends. Be sure to check for other regulations.
You can read about a scalloping adventure of several years ago here:
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter tells the story of Ocracoker, Kelly O'Neal, and the 1951 revolution in Siam (Thailand). You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012910.htm