Posted: Dec 21, 2006 by KansasSheller:
A new poster as well as a somewhat new collector here. I wanted to give a trip report about the past 3 days that I spent collecting shells on Lido Beach in Sarasota, FL.
I can report that I found a lot of FL Fighting Conch shells in the sand no more than 30-50 feet out from shore, if that far. I checked at different times turning the day, and for the most part had the best luck in the early mornings, but could still find good shells in the afternoon as well.
There were also some Whelks to be had as well, and I found a nice one about 6-7inches long, but they certainly weren't around near as much as the conchs. I did find lots of broken parts though.
Of all my time spent in the water, I only found 1 whole banded tulip, and 1 that was not perfect, but pretty darn near whole. I really didn't even see that many broken parts of them even.
I came home with tons of small augers, and if I wanted a gazillion bivalves, but they wouldn't have all fit in my suitcase. I found some nice worm shells, and some decent olives in all different sizes, but most had their cone part worn off. I did manage to find 1 cone shell, but only the one, and that was early in the morning off the shore some.
There were lots of people out hunting sand dollars for all they could find, and I found it a bit sad that people were taking all that they could ever want or need, and then some, but I guess such is life. My husband snorkeled off the shore about 100-150 ft and found lots of live ones. I'm not a huge fan of collecting live shells, so we hoped that no one was picking those up. He did bring some dead ones back for me along with some huge cockels maybe.
It was a good trip overall. The water is a bit cold, but not unbearable. There wasn't a huge amount of people there, and the sun was warm so it made for nice relaxing reading on the beach as well! I was reading shell guides of course!