The Virginia Department of Health’s Division of Shellfish Sanitation has ordered the emergency shutdown of harvesting shellfish in certain areas of the Rappahannock, Potomac Rivers and some tributaries.
The shutdown states it will be unlawful for any person, firm, or cooperation to take shellfish from this area for any purpose except by permit granted by the Marine Resource Commission, as provided in Section 28.2-810 of the code of Virginia.
The area described in the section has been subjected to floodwaters likely containing pathogenic bacteria and viruses, and because the area is not a safe area from which to take shellfish for direct marketing.
The Health Department states that there are shellfish in the areas targeted and the immediate promulgation of this regulation is needed to protect the public health.
The Department will receive, consider and respond to petitions by any interested person at any time with respect to reconsideration or revision of this emergency regulation.
The areas under prohibition will be re-opened once it has been shown to meet the guidelines for an approved shellfish harvesting area.
For the Rappahannock River and tributaries, the prohibited areas are Monaskon Point across to Stove Point and continue North well past Waverly Point and Eubank.
Several tributaries from the Potomac River include Mill Creek, and Lodge Creek in the lower Yeocomico River.