Citing higher than normal levels of toxins, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has shut down shellfishing in James Creek in Southold.
The creek is now the fourth local bay or creek shut down by the state in the last two weeks due to toxin levels.
The alert was issued Thursday and bars fishermen from harvesting shellfish or carnivorous gastropods — like whelks, conchs and moon snails — from the creek, which ultimately leads into the Peconic Bay.
According to the notice, elevated levels of saxitoxin were found in mussel samples taken from the Creek. Saxitoxin can be harmful to humans and animal life if eaten, according to the DEC.
Last Wednesday, Meetinghouse and Terry Creeks, in the Town of Riverhead were closed for the same reason. Those creeks feed into Flanders Bay.
Shinnecock Bay west of the Ponquogue Bridge and east of the Post Lane Bridge was also shut down last Thursday.