A patchy bloom of Karenia brevis, the Florida red tide organism, continues in the northeast Gulf of Mexico. Satellite images from the Optical Oceanography Laboratory at the University of South Florida show a surface bloom starting approximately 5 to 35 miles offshore, dependent on location, between Franklin and Citrus counties, and less than 3 miles offshore of Cedar Key (Levy County). Concentrations of the red tide organism in these areas range from background to high.
Fish kills were reported last week off Rocky Creek Channel (Taylor County), Horseshoe Beach (Dixie County), and approximately 9-12 miles offshore of Keaton Beach (Taylor County), as well as offshore in the bloom area. No respiratory irritation has been reported alongshore the west coast of Florida; however, respiratory irritation is possible in the bloom areas.
Karenia brevis was not detected in or alongshore of Okaloosa, Franklin, Wakulla, or Taylor counties, or offshore of Escambia, Wakulla, or Taylor counties. No samples were analyzed this week from Santa Rosa, Walton, or Jefferson counties. One sample collected inshore of Bay, Gulf, and Lee counties, and one collected offshore of Pinellas County and one offshore of Lee County, each contained background concentrations of K. brevis. Additional samples analyzed throughout Florida this week did not contain Karenia brevis.
FWC has received multiple reports of fish kills and reports of discolored water over the past month in the Indian River Lagoon system. Sampling has revealed bloom concentrations of the organism Pyrodinium bahamense.
Courtesy of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission