A bloom of the Florida red tide organism, Karenia brevis, persists in Southwest Florida and extends along ~135 miles of coastline, from northern Pinellas to northern Collier counties, and offshore (10 miles or more). A patchy bloom of K. brevis continues in Northwest Florida. A bloom of K. brevis was also observed on Florida’s East Coast for the first time this past week.
Over the past week in Southwest Florida, K. brevis concentrations generally decreased in areas of Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee and Collier counties, creating patchier bloom conditions along the coast. Observations of >1,000,000 K. brevis cells per liter (“high” concentrations) occurred in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Sarasota, and Lee counties and >10 miles offshore of Hillsborough County, but at fewer sites relative to last week. In Northwest Florida, K. brevis was observed in or offshore of Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf, and Pasco counties, with up to “medium” concentrations observed in Bay County and offshore of Walton County. On the East Coast, K. brevis was observed in St. Lucie, Martin and Palm Beach counties; up to “medium” concentrations occurred only in and offshore of Palm Beach County.
In Southwest Florida, reports of fish kills were received for multiple locations in Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee and Collier counties. In Northwest Florida, reports of fish kills were received for areas in and/or offshore of Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf and Franklin counties. Along the East Coast of Florida, reports of fish kills were received for St. Lucie and Palm Beach counties. Respiratory irritation was reported in Southwest Florida (in Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Lee and Collier counties) and along the East Coast of Florida (in Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties) over the past week.
Report Courtesy of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission