FWC says red tide bloom intensifying in southwest Florida

Water samples continue to contain high concentrations of Karenia brevis in Pinellas

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High concentrations of the red tide organism, Karenia brevis, were detected in water samples taken Nov. 2 from locations in Belleair Beach south to Fort De Soto.

Specifically, high concentrations were found at Fort De Soto Gulf Pier, Fort De Soto Ferry Pier, Gulfport Fishing Pier, Treasure Island Beach Access, Madeira Beach Archibald Park Beach Access, 20th Avenue Parkway Bay in Indian Rocks Beach, Keegan Clair Park on the Intracoastal Waterway and at Belleair Beach City Hall.

Medium concentrations were found at the 22nd Avenue Beach Access in Pass-A-Grille, on the north side of John’s Pass Channel under the bridge, La Contessa Pier in Redington Beach and Pinellas County’s beach access in Redington Shores.

Low concentrations were detected at the county’s beach access in Indian Rocks Beach, at Sand Key Park, Sixth Street beach access in Belleair Beach and Honeymoon Island North Beach. Very low concentrations were found at Honeymoon Island South Beach. Red tide was not present in samples taken from Clearwater Beach Pier 60.

On Saturday morning, all but Sand Key Park, Fred Howard Park, Honeymoon Island State Park, Clearwater Beach Pier 60, Indian Rocks Beach, Belleair Shore and Belleair Beach were reporting slightly discolored water. Areas with discolored water also had dead fish, ranging from few to many, and odors and respiratory irritation ranged from slight to mild.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has confirmed that the red tide bloom off southwest Florida is intensifying again, according to the latest report from Pinellas County Marketing and Communications.

Red tide effects continue to be the worst in the south part of the county, particularly around Fort De Soto Park and in the Intracoastal Waterway. The county advised that as the wind direction changed, conditions could worsen in other areas, at least temporarily. Read full article.