Red Tide Persists in SW Florida

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Red Tide Persists in SW Florida

The red tide organism, Karenia brevis, persists in Southwest Florida. Over the past week, K. brevis was detected in 34 samples. Bloom concentrations (>100,000 cells/liter) were observed in seven samples from Lee and Collier counties. Recent satellite imagery (2/15; NOAA, USF) indicates the presence of chlorophyll patches along and/or offshore of Lee, Collier, and Monroe counties. One Northwest Florida sample had background levels of K. brevis. Additional details are provided below.

  • In Southwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at very low concentrations in Sarasota County (in one sample), background to very low concentrations in Charlotte County (in four samples), background to medium concentrations in Lee County (in 17 samples), and very low to medium concentrations in and offshore of Collier County (in 11 samples). Samples from Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, and Monroe counties did not contain red tide.
  • In Northwest Florida over the past week, K. breviswas observed at background concentrations in Bay County (in one sample).
  • Along the Florida East Coast over the past week, K. brevis was not observed.

Fish kills suspected to be related to red tide were reported over the past week in Southwest Florida in Lee County; a fish kill was also reported in Collier County. For more details, please visit:  https://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/health/fish-kills-hotline.

Respiratory irritation was reported over the past week in Southwest Florida in Lee County. For current conditions, please visit: https://visitbeaches.org.

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

The next complete status report will be issued on Friday, February 19th. Please check our daily sampling map, which can be accessed via the online status report on our Red Tide Current Status page. For more information on algal blooms and water quality, please visit Protecting Florida Together.

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.