The agencies also advise that any shellfish harvested from the closed area of the pond – either commercially or recreationally – since Tuesday, July 23, be thrown away.
PROVIDENCE – The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) are announcing that effective immediately and until further notice, all waters of Point Judith Pond located north of a line from the eastern tip of High Point in South Kingstown to Thomas Point on Great Island and north of a line from Horseshoe Point, Great Island, to the northern tip of Locke Point in Narragansett are closed to shellfishing. The closure includes all the waters of Wolcott Cove.
The agencies are enacting the closure because water samples collected on Thursday July 25, had unsafe bacteria levels. The results of these samples were received today. The high bacteria levels are likely due to stormwater runoff from the more than three inches of rain that fell on Monday, July 22, and Tuesday, July 23, across the state. RIDOH has initiated a recall of shellfish commercially harvested (wild or farmed) from Point Judith Pond on or after Tuesday and is advising that any shellfish harvested from the closed area of the pond, either commercially or recreationally, since Tuesday be thrown away immediately.
Shellfish from water with high bacteria levels could result in gastroenteritis, RIDOH advises. The symptoms of gastroenteritis could include nausea, vomiting, stomachache, diarrhea, headache, and fever. It can be a serious health concern for young children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems.
DEM will update this announcement once additional water samples are collected and tested.
Shellfish commercially harvested from Potter Pond and the open areas of Point Judith Pond should be identified as harvested from tagging area 6PSW until further notice.
Follow DEM on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) or Facebook and follow RIDOH on Twitter (@RIHEALTH) or Facebook for information and timely updates.