The Department of Environmental Management announces the re-opening of the following shellfish harvest areas beginning at sunrise on Tuesday, November 6: all approved waters of Quonochontaug Pond in Charlestown and Westerly; all approved waters of Winnapaug Pond in Westerly, east of a line from the dock at the western end of Harbor Drive to the eastern most corner of the Water Wizz slide tower; and all approved waters of Ninigret Pond in Charlestown, except for waters of Fort Neck Pond north of a line from the southern end of Marsh Point to the southernmost point on Saulks Island. The decision to re-open these Ponds is based upon the test results from samples collected on Friday.
The remaining portions of Winnapaug Pond and Ninigret Pond remain closed until further notice due to unacceptable water quality resulting Hurricane Sandy. DEM staff is collecting samples today and will revise the remaining closures as appropriate. Previously announced shellfishing closures also remain in effect for Potters Pond (west of a line from Gooseberry Road to Succotash Rd.) and all conditionally-approved waters of the Conimicut Triangle, Conditional Area A, Greenwich Bay, Mount Hope Bay, and Kickemuit River. Absent additional rain or sewage by-passes, the conditional areas are scheduled to re-open at sunrise on Thursday, November 8.
All aquaculturists in areas where emergency shellfish closures have been enacted will be allowed access to their leases to conduct necessary maintenance/retrieval of their equipment. All other activities on the aquaculture lease, including but not limited to the harvest of shellfish, will remain prohibited until the water quality is acceptable to allow for harvest. Aquaculturists that intend to conduct maintenance and/or retrieval of their equipment under this emergency authorization are required to notify Dave Beutel, CRMC's Aquaculture Coordinator by leaving a message at (401) 783-3370.
DEM maintains a recorded telephone information line, (401) 222-2900, with the most updated information on shellfish closures.