TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Bloom concentrations of red tide were detected in 86 water samples from five Tampa Bay area counties this week, according to the latest update from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The update released Friday evening says bloom concentrations of K. brevis were detected in five water samples from Pasco County, 28 from Pinellas County, 24 from Hillsborough County, eight from Manatee County and 21 from Sarasota County.
The samples showed red tide in background to high concentrations in Pinellas, very low to high concentrations in Hillsborough, background to high concentrations in Manatee and very low to high concentrations in Sarasota County, the FWC said. Background to medium concentrations were detected in Pasco.
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According to the FWC report, fish kills that are “suspected to be related to red tide” were reported in Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota counties. In addition, respiratory irritation was reported in Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota counties.
“Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides for Pinellas to northern Monroe counties predict northwestern movement of surface waters along the coast and minimal net transport of subsurface waters in most areas over the next four days,” the report said.
Earlier Friday, the FWC issued new fishing regulations for Tampa Bay due to the red tide crisis. Snook, redfish and spotted seatrout catch-and-release only, effective immediately. The new regulations come just more than a month after normal regulations resumed in our area following the severe red tide from 2017 to 2019.