Two Coves of EGP Closed to Shellfishing by Mass DMF

Slough and Wintucket Coves of Edgartown Great Pond were “CLOSED TO SHELLFISHING” by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (Mass DMF) “as of sunrise on September 14, 2023” according to a letter sent to Edgartown Selectboard dated September 13, 2023.

The letter details a change in classification of Slough and Wintucket cloves to “Conditionally Approved” which designates these coves “Closed to Shellfishing June 1 – September 30“.

“Digging, harvesting, or collecting and/or attempting to dig, harvest or collect shellfish and the possession of shellfish from … [Slough Cove and Wintucket Cove] …is prohibited.”

” Under authority of 322 CMR 7.01(7) all permits issued thereunder are hereby conditioned to prohibit the taking, selling or possession of shellfish from the below defined area.”

Letter from Mass DMF to Edgartown Selectboard dated September 13, 2023.

Edgartown Shellfish Constable, Rob Morrison, reports that shellfish harvesting is permitted in all regions of Edgartown Great Pond other than Slough and Wintucket Coves, as depicted in the above map. Please follow rules and regulations as established by the Edgartown Shellfish Department.

The closed areas in Edgartown Great Pond are the result of several years of water quality testing by Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF)  These areas have shown elevated levels of fecal coliform bacteria over the course of several rounds of sampling.  Please see the links below for more information about shellfish sanitation guidelines, shellfish classification areas in Massachusetts and the National Shellfish Sanitation Program.

The state closures in Slough and Wintucket cove are both seasonal, but will last indefinitely during those seasons.  The Town of Edgartown does not allow shellfishing of any kind year round in Slough Cove, because it is an oyster sanctuary.  The next round of sampling in October has the potential to open Wintucket cove.