James, Nansemond and Back Rivers reopened to shellfishing

Photo Courtesy: Virginia Department of Health/Twitter
Photo Courtesy: Virginia Department of Health/Twitter

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — The Virginia Department of Health reopened parts of the James, Nansemond and Back Rivers to shellfish harvesting Thursday. Portions of the Lynnhaven River and Linkhorn Bay remain closed.

The closures are because of heavy rain from Hurricane Matthew and sewage overflows that possibly contaminated the areas. Eating shellfish from the closed areas could cause illness.

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The closure was expected to be in effect until the end of the month. The Division of Shellfish Sanitation has been collecting samples of seawater and shellfish tissue since announcing the closures. Thursday, the State Health Commissioner said test results came back showing it was safe again for the public to resume shellfishing in some of the affected areas.

Learn more about shellfish closures here and find a map of the affected areas here.