A patchy bloom of Karenia brevis, the Florida red tide organism, persists along Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Collier, and Monroe counties in Southwest Florida. Over the past week, Karenia brevis was detected in background to low concentrations in 55 samples collected in, along, and offshore of Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, and Charlotte counties; background concentrations in 1 sample collected from inshore waters of Lee County; low concentrations in 1 sample collected alongshore of southern Collier County; medium concentrations in 4 samples collected along and offshore of northern Monroe County; and background to low concentrations in 7 samples collected offshore of the Florida Keys (southern Monroe County).
In addition, one sample collected alongshore of Okaloosa County in Northwest Florida contained very low concentrations of K. brevis.
Additional samples collected throughout Florida over the past week did not contain K. brevis.
Fish kills have been reported in multiple locations between southern Collier County and northern Monroe County in southwest Florida over the past week. In addition, fish kills and slight respiratory irritation were reported at Siesta Key on 2/22 and Venice Beach on 2/26 (Sarasota County). Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides show southern offshore movement of surface waters and southern onshore movement of bottom waters between Pinellas and Lee counties, and southern movement of surface waters and little net movement of bottom waters off Collier County, northern Monroe County, and the Florida Keys in Southwest Florida over the next 3 days.
Courtesy of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission