Fort De Soto Park - Seashell Warning

Seashell Warning

By Sylvia Ellis

Collecting seashells can be addictive.

Sea shells come in all sizes.

Seashells on the beach come in all sizes. Notice the operculum, at bottom of picture. This is attached to the back of the foot and is used to close the opening of the shell.

Seashells? Really?

Yes! Seashells offer examples of every geometric shape and variety of color. Hunting these beauties is a very relaxing pastime and the thrill of the FIND is indescribable. WARNING-Shelling can become addictive.

Shells, both large and small, can be found along the gulf side of the park from the fishing pier to the tip of North Beach. Other shells can be found along the bay and the mud flats.

A choice time to go is at full moon or new moon when Spring tides occur. The high tides will be higher and low tides lower. A high barometer pressure is also desirable. After a period of blustery weather, many more specimens wash ashore. A schedule of tides can be found in the newspaper along with the weather report. It is also included with info for fishermen in the Sports section. Begin your shelling with an out-going tide.

Urchin with spines

In addition to the danger of shell-collecting addiction, here's one more thing: when you walk the beach, watch where you step!

Beginners and visitors can pick up a handy folder in the Administration office. It will show pictures and names of the shells commonly found in this area.

For more on shelling, join me on one of our scheduled weekend beach walks. For dates and times, call the Administration Office.

Happy Shelling and Please - NO LIVE SPECIMENS!

Sylvia Ellis, Volunteer Nature Guide

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