TAMPA (WFLA) – Eagle 8 flew over Pinellas County beaches on Friday to check out red tide conditions along the Gulf Coast, inlets, intercoastal and beaches.
News Channel 8 photographer Paul Lamison started in Sand Key, south of Clearwater Beach, where he said this was the furthest north he had spotted water discoloration along the shore. “You can see black gunk rolling up onto the beach,” he said. There was also dead fish washing ashore.
He had spotted dead fish from St. Pete Beach to Indian Rocks and Indian Shores earlier this week but not this far north.
However, due to predicted onshore winds, red tide conditions may be severe at some Pinellas County beaches over the weekend, officials said.
At Indian Rocks Beach, there were cleanup crews using tractors to scoop up loads of dead fish. A scooper pulled up the dead fish from the ground to a front end loader to be put in dumpster.
Crews work the edge of the beach every morning, driving up and down because fish continue to wash ashore. There are also people raking the beach and making it presentable for tourists and visitors to come out.
Lamison noted that the beach was not as crowded as a normal summer day in July.
In the intercoastal waterway off St. Pete Beach Eagle 8 spotted dead fish floating but not as widespread as reported previously. The heavier concentrations of dead fish appear to be floating to the neighborhood inlets near Sunset Beach.
The Gulf water in this area still has the discolored look and lots of dead fish make their way onto the beaches as the tide washes them ashore.
Boats and crews on the water and the shore can be seen cleaning up dead fish to keep the area clean for everyone.
Residents and visitors are encouraged to check the water quality monitoring results and Respiratory Forecast Tool.
If you are aware of or sponsoring a red tide-related clean-up, please let 8 On Your Side know by emailing Daisy Ruth at email@example.com