A precipitous drop in the number of bay scallops found Saturday during the 2013 Pine Island Sound Scallop Search isn't being viewed as a harbinger of the bivalve's future, in fact it was expected.

About 90 people in 20 boats found just 24 scallops in a search of several sites around Pine Island Sound. "It is very low," said Lee County Sea Grant agent Joy Hazell. "But it was expected due to the red tide."

During the 2012 search 135 people on 33 teams found 400 . The annual count is sponsored by Florida Sea Grant and the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation. The search also found more than 1,000 in 2011 and 330 the year before.

All these results help researchers monitor Pine Island Sound's scallop population.