A patchy bloom of the red tide organism, Karenia brevis, persists in Southwest Florida, where K. brevis was detected in 76 samples over the past week. Bloom concentrations (>100,000 cells/liter) were observed in 19 samples: four from and offshore of Pinellas County, eight from Sarasota County, one from Charlotte County, and six from and offshore of Lee County. Additional details are provided below.
• In Southwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at very low to medium concentrations in and offshore of Pinellas County, very low to low concentrations in Hillsborough County, very low to low concentrations in and offshore of Manatee County, background to high concentrations in Sarasota County, background and high concentrations in Charlotte County, and background to medium concentrations in and offshore of Lee County.
• In Northwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at background to low concentrations offshore of both Hernando and Pasco counties.
• Along the Florida East Coast over the past week, K. brevis was not observed.
Fish kills suspected to be related to red tide were reported along and/or offshore of Florida’s Gulf Coast in Citrus, Hernando, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, and Lee counties over the past week..
Respiratory irritation suspected to be related to red tide was reported over the past week on Florida’s Gulf Coast in Hernando, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, and Lee counties. For recent and current information at individual beaches, please visit https://visitbeaches.org/
Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides for Pinellas to northern Monroe counties predict net northwestern transport of surface waters and net southeastern movement of coastal subsurface waters in most areas over the next 3.5 days.
FWC-FWRI is working closely with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and other partners on the Piney Point response effort. Status updates and results are posted on the Protecting Florida Together website (https://protectingfloridatogether.gov/PineyPointUpdate) and on the Tampa Bay Estuary Program website (https://shiny.tbep.org/piney-point/).
Report courtesy of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission