Nov. 13, 2015 – As evident from recent satellite images, fish kill reports, and analysis of water samples, blooms of the Florida red tide organism are currently present along Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, and Bay counties in Northwest Florida and Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, and Lee counties in Southwest Florida.
In Northwest Florida over the past week, Karenia brevis was detected in low concentrations in one sample collected alongshore of Escambia County; in very low concentrations in 3 samples collected inshore of Okaloosa County; and in very low to high concentrations in 9 samples collected in and alongshore of Bay County. In Southwest Florida, Karenia brevis was detected in very low to high concentrations in 6 samples collected in and alongshore of Pinellas County; background to medium concentrations in 8 samples collected in and alongshore of Manatee County; very low to high concentrations in 25 samples collected in and alongshore of Sarasota County; background to low concentrations in 5 samples collected in and alongshore of Charlotte County; and background to very low concentrations in 7 samples collected in, along, and offshore of Lee County. One sample collected alongshore of Collier County also contained background concentrations of K. brevis. In addition, one sample collected alongshore of Miami-Dade County on the East Coast contained background concentrations of K. brevis. Samples were not collected this week in Santa Rosa, Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson, Taylor, Dixie, Levy, Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, or Monroe counties along the Gulf Coast. FWC continues to receive reports of fish kills in bloom areas in both Northwest and Southwest Florida. Respiratory irritation is possible throughout the areas where red tide is present.
Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides show a slight easterly movement of bloom patches in Northwest Florida and a slight southerly movement of bloom patches in Southwest Florida over the next three days.
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.