Monday, April 16, 2018

Florida: Red Tide, Fish Kills Continue on Southwest Coast

A bloom of the Florida red tide organism, Karenia brevis, persists in Southwest Florida.

In Southwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at background concentrations in one sample collected from Sarasota County, very low to low concentrations in two samples collected from Charlotte County, very low to medium concentrations in 10 samples collected from or offshore of Lee County, background to medium concentrations in 15 samples collected from Collier County, and very low concentrations in three samples collected from or offshore of Monroe County.

In Northwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at background concentrations in three samples collected from Gulf County.

Additional samples collected throughout Florida over the past week did not contain K. brevis.

Over the past week, fish kills were reported in the following Southwest Florida counties: Sarasota (4/9 at Nokomis and Venice North Jetty), Lee (4/10 at Big Carlos Pass, 4/7 – 4/13 at Bonita Beach, 4/10 at Bonita Dog Beach, 4/6 and 4/9 at Gasparilla Island, 4/11 at Lighthouse Beach, 4/9 at Little Estero Island Beach, 4/8 – 4/11 and 4/13 at Lovers Key, 4/10 near New Pass, 4/9 – 4/12 at Newton Park, 4/11 at Sanibel Island), and Collier (4/7 – 4/10 and 4/12 at Barefoot Beach, 4/8 at Beach Central, Big Hickory Pass, Doctor’s Pass, and Vina Miramar Beach, 4/10 near Delnor-Wiggins State Park, 4/9 at Residents Beach, 4/9 – 4/11 at Vanderbilt Beach). Respiratory irritation was reported over the past week in Lee (4/7 – 4/13 at Bonita Beach, 4/10 – 4/11 at Lovers Key, 4/12 at Newton Park) and Collier (4/7 – 4/10 at Barefoot Beach, 4/9 at Seagate, 4/9 and 4/12 at South Marco Beach, 4/9 – 4/12 at Vanderbilt Beach) counties.

Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tidesfor Pinellas to Monroe counties predict net northern transport of surface waters and minimal net movement of subsurface waters over the next three days.

This information, including maps and reports with additional details, is also available on the FWRI Red Tide website. The website also provides links to additional information related to the topic of Florida red tide including satellite imagery, experimental red tide forecasts, shellfish harvesting areas, the FWC Fish Kill Hotline, the Florida Poison Information Center (to report human health effects related to exposure to red tide), and other wildlife related hotlines.

To learn more about various organisms that have been known to cause algal blooms in Florida waters, see the FWRI Red Tide Flickr page. Archived status maps can also be found on Flickr.       

The FWRI HAB group in conjunction with Mote Marine Laboratory now have a Facebook page.  Please like our page and learn interesting facts concerning red tide and other harmful algal blooms in Florida.