Lake Tashmoo closed to shellfishing

Lake Tashmoo closed to shellfishing

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Shellfishing, a popular summer activity in Lake Tashmoo, was closed Wednesday.

Tisbury closed Lake Tashmoo Wednesday to all shellfishing after the town shellfish constable discovered a potentially toxic algae bloom in the water body on the north shore of the Island. Tashmoo is called a lake, but it is permanently connected to Vineyard Sound by a narrow channel.

Shellfish constable Daniele Ewart found the algae, prorocentrum lima, during a routine inspection of shellfish Wednesday afternoon.

“Although it is unfortunate that we must close Lake Tashmoo to shellfishing during such a busy time of the year, the health and safety of those collecting shellfish for consumption is paramount,” she said in a press release the town distributed at 3:20 pm.

Ms. Ewart was busy Wednesday posting signs along the shoreline.

In a telephone call Wednesday afternoon, state Division of Marine Fisheries biologist Michael Hickey said prorocentrum lima has the potential to be toxic. Until tests are completed there is no way to know if the strain found in Lake Tashmoo is toxic, he said. “The prudent thing to do was close it,” he said.

Lagoon Pond is unaffected by the algae bloom and is open to all shellfishing, Ms. Ewart said. Updates will be posted on mvtimes.com and the town website tisburyma.gov.