FWC reports significant increase in red tide in Tampa Bay region

Posted at 4:40 PM, Sep 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-12 18:16:10-04

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is reporting a significant increase in red tide concentration across the Tampa Bay region. Clearwater Beach is also now showing traces of red tide.

Over the last week, several areas that reported low or medium concentration now show high concentration levels. The maps below show the drastic increase in red tide:

A bloom of the Florida red tide organism, Karenia brevis, persists in Southwest Florida and extends from northern Pinellas to Lee counties along ~125 miles of coastline. Aerial surveys conducted on 9/6 and 9/11 as well as recent water sampling indicate that the bloom of K. brevis still extends offshore (10 miles or more) in some areas. A bloom of K. brevis was also observed in Northwest Florida for the first time this past week.

High concentrations of red tide was found in samples collected in or offshore of Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, and Lee counties and relative to last week, multiple locations in Pinellas, Sarasota, Charlotte and Lee counties showed increased K. brevis concentrations. 

In Southwest Florida, reports of fish kills were received for multiple locations in and/or offshore of Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, and Lee counties. In Northwest Florida, reports of fish kills were received in and offshore of Panama City Beach (Bay County). Respiratory irritation was reported in Southwest Florida (in Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, and Lee counties).

Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red TidesExternal Website for Pinellas to northern Monroe counties predict net southern movement of surface waters for most areas and net southeastern transport of subsurface waters over the next three days. Forecasts for Northwest Florida predict net eastern transport of surface and subsurface waters.

Click here for more information.