Updated 4 pm
The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries closed Lake Tashmoo’s mooring field to shellfishing effective May 14 with conditional approval. That portion of Tashmoo no longer meets the requirements for shellfishing, according to the state.
Based on the National Shellfish Sanitation Program Mooring Area Criteria, a mooring field where 21 or more boats are moored is to be closed to shellfishing seasonally. “These regulations are meant to address public health concerns, including any discharge of effluent, oil or gas, that could affect shellfish,” Tisbury shellfish constable Danielle Ewart said in a press release. “State and federal officials have been discussing these mooring sanitation rules for years. So it does not come as a total surprise. We knew something was coming this summer. And it applies to towns across the state.”
Lake Tashmoo’s mooring field will be closed with conditional approval to shellfishing from May 15 to Oct. 31. The area will not reopen automatically on Nov. 1; that will depend on test results from the Division of Marine Fisheries. According to state law, “Digging, harvesting, or collecting and/or attempting to dig, harvest, or collect shellfish and the possession of shellfish from the below defined areas is prohibited.”
Specifically, East Tashmoo Mooring Area will be the location closed to shellfishing. This encompasses “the waters, flats and all tributaries of Lake Tashmoo south of a line drawn west from the ‘no shellfishing’ sign on the shore at the end of Tashmoo Wood to the town buoy at the northwestern corner of the mooring field, east of a line drawn thence south along town buoys located east of the mooring field off Hvoslef Way and the end of Serusa Lane, and continuing due south to the town buoy located at the southwestern corner of the mooring field, and north of a line drawn thence to the base of the dock at 68 Bishops Cove Way,” according to a press release.
Lake Tashmoo’s flats will remain open.
Other mooring fields in town waters are expected to face seasonal closures, as well.
Updated to clarify area closed to shellfishing.