Skip to Content

Red tide report

Health alerts were issued this week for the Lee County islands of Sanibel and Captiva. Notices were also issued for Gasparilla Island State Park.

Latest Red Tide news reports…

Red tide again staining Lee County waters, Fort Myers News-Press, 1/31/2023

red tide
Daily red tide map for 2/2/23. Red dots show highest concentrations are in Pine Island Sound.

Lee County Health Department issues red tide alert for Sanibel, Captiva, The Island Reporter, 1/27/2023

No red tide is reported along Pinellas beaches and Sarasota Bay for first time in months, WUSF Public Media, 1/25/2023

Editor’s Note: If you follow our links to newspaper reports, understand access to some may be limited without a subscription.


Red Tide Florida Report

Weekly Red Tide Map: Dots on the map below show tested concentrations of red tide blooms in the Gulf of Mexico and inland waters, released on 2/1/2023 by Florida Fish and Wildlife.

red tide florida
Dots on the map show tested concentrations of red tide blooms in the Gulf of Mexico and inland waters, released on 2/1/2023 by Florida Fish and Wildlife.

Red Tide Report Details

Wednesday, Feb. 1 — The red tide organism, Karenia brevis, was detected in 54 samples collected from and offshore of Southwest Florida over the past week.

Bloom concentrations (>100,000 cells/liter) were present in 12 samples: one in Sarasota County, 10 in Lee County, and one in Monroe County.

  • In Southwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at very low concentrations in Pinellas County, background to low concentrations in Manatee County, background to medium concentrations in Sarasota County, low concentrations in Charlotte County, very low to high concentrations in Lee County, very low concentrations offshore of Collier County, and background to high concentrations in and offshore of Monroe County.
  • In Northwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was not observed.
  • Along the Florida East Coast over the past week, K. brevis was not observed.

Fish kills

Reports of fish kills suspected to be related to red tide were received in Southwest Florida from Sarasota County over the past week. For details, visit: https://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/health/fish-kills-hotline/ and https://visitbeaches.org/.

Respiratory Irritation due to red tide

Respiratory irritation suspected to be related to red tide was reported via the Beach Conditions Reporting System over the past week in Southwest Florida in Manatee County (Coquina Beach and Manatee Beach) and Sarasota County (Lido Key Beach, Manasota Key Beach, Nokomis Beach, Siesta Key Beach, Venice Beach, Venice North Jetty Beach).

For recent and current information at individual beaches, please visit https://visitbeaches.org/ and for forecasts that use FWC and partner data, please visit https://habforecast.gcoos.org/.

Red tides form many miles offshore, sometimes causing no impact to humans. However, when red tides travel inshore on wind and water currents, they can cause respiratory irritation among beachgoers, especially those who have underlying lung diseases, such as asthma or COPD.

Red tide movement forecast

Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides for Pinellas County to northern Monroe County predict variable movement of surface and subsurface waters with minimal net transport in most areas through Sunday, Feb. 5.

Beach Conditions

Daily Beach Condition reports reflect observations on beaches throughout the state.


Read the full FWC Red Tide report online

More from Florida Rambler: Florida Blue-Green Algae updates


Avoid Red Tide

Toxins from red tide can cause breathing problems and irritate your eyes, nose and throat. Reactions to red tide are worse for people with asthma, emphysema, bronchitis or any chronic lung disease. If you have health issues, stay away from areas with red tide. Pets can become sick from red tide so keep them away from those areas as well as contaminated marine animals and fish.

If you come into contact with red tide, wash off with soap and water. You can get relief from respiratory symptoms by being in an air-conditioned space. For people without asthma or chronic respiratory problems, over-the-counter antihistamines can help. If your symptoms don’t get better, see a doctor.

SWIMMING.  Don’t swim in or around red tide because the toxin can cause skin irritation, rashes and burning and sore eyes.

DEAD FISH. Red tides can kill fish and other marine life—avoid contact and don’t swim or walk in these areas. Keep your pets away from these areas.

RED TIDE AND FISH.  Don’t harvest or eat distressed or dead fish (or any animals) from or near a red tide. Fish caught live and healthy can be eaten if filleted and rinsed thoroughly with fresh water.

RED TIDE AND SHELLFISH. Crabs, lobsters, shrimp, clams, oysters and scallops are filter feeders that can concentrate toxins. These and other shellfish, if harvested from red tide areas, can be contaminated with brevetoxins. The muscle of the scallop is free of toxin but the rest of the scallop is not.

WHAT IS RED TIDE? Common name for harmful algal blooms occurring along coastal regions in Florida from large concentrations of aquatic microorganisms, specifically an organism called karenia brevis. Bloom events are stimulated by nutrients from terrestrial runoff containing fertilizer, sewage and livestock wastes.


Additional Resources


Notes from the editor:

The information in this article was accurate when published but may change without notice. Confirm details when planning visits.

This page may include affiliate links from which we earn modest commissions if a purchase is made. 

This article is property of FloridaRambler.com, protected by U.S. Copyright Law. Re-publication without written permission is against the law.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Craig

Wednesday 25th of January 2023

Red Tide is MUCH worse than it's made out to be - it's played down because Billions of dollars are at stake. Fixing it? No way - Mosaic funds Mote. The Gov. has made it clear (Scott and DeSantis) that environmentalism is a "woke" fantasy,.

People are getting very sick. Talk to Doctors. Some are moving away (to the east coast).

This is not just an irritant - it's a poison (duh, dead fish and manatees/dolphins). It is likely shortening human lives - those with other respiratory problems.

It's been studied - but, of course, not by the State. Why would they want to know the truth? You can't dump billions of gallons of sewage and fertilizer into shallow warm water without problems!

Kim Wroblewski

Tuesday 2nd of November 2021

The red tide can bother you at sometimes. But whiat our family does is just go down the beach a couple miles and you really can’t notice it at all. Sometimes it’ll bother you worse than others. But don’t give up hope our Florida weather is beautiful and so are the beaches so just enjoy it the best you can and except the red tide Kim Wroblewski

Susan

Saturday 14th of August 2021

Thank you for publishing information about red tide. This has been going on for several weeks not just this last week. I live near the beach in Sarasota county. I feel so bad for tourists who come down with no idea that this is going on. It is not publicized or reported much. The signs alerting people are very inconspicuous. Many lodging properties and hotels do not tell their guests. We’ve also had closures due to bacteria in the water. It is bad enough that our state government is not proactive in solving this problem for all of us, but at least tell people what’s going on for safety reasons. Florida rambler is awesome. Thank you for all your publications! Susan

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.