Heavy rain leads to shellfishing closure in Riverhead

08/15/2011 3:23 PM |

Sunday’s heavy rainfall has led to the temporary closure of shellfishing spots in Riverhead Town on Monday and continuing until next Monday, August 22, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has announced.

All of Flanders Bay, lying west of a line extending southwesterly from Miamogue Point to the northernmost point of Red Cedar Point will be closed for shellfishing for the next week, officials said.

In neighboring Southampton Town, all of Moriches Bay, Shinnecock Bay, Flanders Bay and the creeks, ponds, bays and harbors in the Town of Southampton lying between Red Cedar Point and North Haven Peninsula have been closed.

Rainfall was measured in excess of three inches in the affected areas, according to the DEC, and the extraordinary volume of stormwater runoff entering the bay may cause shellfish in the affected areas to be hazardous to eat.

“Most areas had in excess of five inches; some areas reported more than 10 inches of rain on Sunday, August 14,” the DEC said in a statement. “Such extraordinary volumes of stormwater runoff carry bacteria and viruses into the creeks, coves, harbors and bays and may cause shellfish in the affected areas to be hazardous for use as food.”

More rain is predicting for Tuesday and shellfishing spots in Shelter Island and Southold towns may also close.