Fish kill tops red tide week 22, shoreline cleanup starts anew

The turkey vultures circled overhead Dec. 3. It would take another day for the smell of decaying dead fish to reach the Palma Sola Causeway approach to Anna Maria Island.

Mullet had become the latest victims of a red tide bloom. By Dec. 7, thousands of mullet, with red tide as the suspected culprit, swam in circles gasping for oxygen or laid dead in Palma Sola Bay and the waters in the nearby preserves.

Robinson Preserve was particularly hard hit.

Meanwhile, actual red tide levels decreased in Manatee County, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s testing information posted Dec. 5.

The FWC reported slight respiratory irritation in Manatee and Sarasota counties, as well as fish kills.

Charlie Hunsicker, director of Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department, wrote Dec. 5 in an email to The Islander the county was planning a cleanup within the preserves.

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