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Shellfish harvesting returns in Huntington

Bill 'Duckman' Fetzer, a clam digger in Oyster

Bill 'Duckman' Fetzer, a clam digger in Oyster Bay, culls clams during a fierce summer storm. (July 13, 2010)

The State Department of Environmental Conservation has reopened thousands of acres in Huntington Town waterways for shellfish harvesting after discovery of a toxin closed the waters last month.

Starting Friday, about 2,200 acres of certified shellfish areas in Northport Bay, Duck Island Harbor and Centerport Harbor are open for harvesting, the DEC announced. The areas were closed May 12 after the agency’s Bureau of Marine Resources detected saxitoxin — a naturally occurring marine biotoxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning — in shellfish from Northport Bay. Laboratory results showed biotoxin levels no longer pose a significant public health threat in the areas, the DEC reported.

On Monday, the DEC reopened 5,300 acres in Huntington Bay and Lloyd Harbor for shellfish harvesting, along with 3,900 acres in western Shinnecock Bay in Southampton Town.

A ban on taking carnivorous gastropods, such as conch and whelk, has also been rescinded in all of these areas, according to the DEC.

For the most recent information, the department recommends its hotline (631) 444-0480. Further information on shellfish and other outdoor activities is available at the DEC website.  Click here to link to

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