Lake Tashmoo Beach partially reopened to beachgoers

Tisbury town officials reopened the pond side of Lake Tashmoo Beach and half of the beach parking lot Wednesday following a five-week closure to protect a pair of nesting piping plovers.

The plovers have left the area, according to Hillary Conklin, administrative secretary to the Tisbury shellfish constable and selectmen.

But just when it appeared the entire beach would reopen, the Lake Tashmoo story took a tern. On a visit to the beach last week with department of public works Fred LaPiana, officials discovered a tern is nesting on the lifeguard station.

State and federal law protects the nesting sites of both bird species. Ms. Conklin said beachgoers are now allowed to drive down Herring Creek Road and use half of the beach parking lot. Beachgoers and shellfishermen may only use the pond side beach. The ocean side beach and parking area remains closed off.

Although the town has not yet received a follow-up notification from the Mass Audubon Society concerning the tern, Ms. Conklin said Lake Tashmoo Beach would likely remain partially closed for at least 28 days from the date the tern was spotted last week.

Tisbury received notification from the Massachusetts Audubon Society on May 23 that the Lake Tashmoo Beach should be closed for at least 28 days to protect a pair of nesting piping plovers and their four eggs (May 23, 2011, “Tisbury closes Tashmoo Beach to protect piping plovers”).