NewsPinellas County

Actions

Pinellas County already matches 2018 fishkill by cleaning up over 3 million pounds of dead fish

Red Tide 7/23/21
Posted at 7:01 PM, Jul 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-23 19:01:35-04

INDIAN ROCKS BEACH, Fla. — It’s one of the worst red tide fish kills Pinellas County has ever dealt with after cleaning up more than three million pounds of dead fish so far.

"It breaks my heart," said Carol Andrews who lives in Largo. Andrews and her sister were enjoying a day at Indian Rocks best they could, despite the red tide.

"We bought some Vicks to put in our nose to subdue the smell and it's helping a bit," said Andrews.

What’s also helping are the crews working to rake up the dead fish and get them off the beach from John’s Pass almost up to Clearwater Beach.

"It changes day to day, but we’ve picked up approximately 1,500 tons of fish to date which is about equal to what we did in all of 2018," said Paul Dean with Pinellas County Public Works.

To put that even more into perspective, 2018 was one of the worst red tide blooms in recorded history for the Tampa Bay area.

Pinellas County says for them, the fish kill from the 2018 bloom lasted from the beginning of August to the end of November, about 4 months.

The county says this bloom that started around June 11th to date, has already produced as much dead fish as in 2018, and it's only been a month and a half.

"This is as bad, if not worse than 2018," said Dean.

Crews are continuing to work hard to clear the beaches of dead fish. They advise anyone looking to visit the beaches to check the red tide map before going.