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Red Tide is Here - 11 Samples in Manatee and 12 Samples in Sarasota

FWC: Fish Kills Have Been Reported in Both Counties. Red Tide Found in: 11 Samples in Manatee and 12 Samples in Sarasota

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has received reports of fish kills thought to be caused by red tide in Manatee County & Sarasota County over the past week. Respiratory irritation, another side effect of a red tide bloom, has been reported in Manatee & Sarasota County sporadically since late April, however, it was not reported this week.

Complete details of the week’s water sampling results will be released this Friday (5/21/21).

Data made available on last night from the FWC showed that low levels of K. brevis were recently recorded at the Rod and Reel Pier in Anna Maria; at the Holmes Beach Boat Ramp; at Beer Can Island; and at the Sunshine Skyway Fishing Pier. Very low levels were detected at Longboat Pass and in several samples in lower Tampa Bay near Manatee County.

As of last night, our local beaches were free of fish kills and respiratory irritation, according to Mote Marine Laboratory’s live beach conditions tracker.

FWC will issue its next FULL red tide report Tomorrow (5/21/21) in the late afternoon. .

Fish kills can be reported to FWC at 800-636-0511 or online at

Here is the Full FWC Report Released yesterday (5/19/21)

Current Conditions

A patchy bloom of the red tide organism, Karenia brevis, persists in Southwest Florida. Over the past week, K. brevisw as detected in 54 samples, with bloom concentrations (>100,000 cells/liter) observed in eight samples from Lee County and seven samples from Collier County. Additional details are provided below.

  • In Southwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at very low concentrations in Pinellas County (in one sample), background to low concentrations in Manatee County (in 11 samples), background to low concentrations in Sarasota County (in 12 samples), background to high concentrations in and offshore of Lee County (in 19 samples), very low to high concentrations in and offshore of Collier County (in eight samples), and background to low concentrations offshore of Monroe County (in three samples). Samples from Hillsborough and Charlotte counties did not contain red tide.
  • 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.

In Southwest Florida, patches of the marine cyanobacterium, Trichodesmium, have recently been reported in offshore, coastal, and nearshore waters. This alga blooms each year, has not been shown to be toxic in Florida’s waters, and often resembles sawdust but can change color as it decomposes. For more information, please see posts on our Facebook page ( and information about Trichodesmiumon our website ( 

In Southwest Florida over the past week, fish kills suspected to be related to red tide were reported in Manatee, Sarasota, Lee, and Collier counties. For more details, please visit:

Respiratory irritation was reported over the past week in Southwest Florida in Pinellas, Charlotte, and Collier counties. For current information, please visit:

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

FWC-FWRI is working closely with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and other partners on the Piney Point response effort. Status updates and results are posted on the Protecting Florida Together website ( and on the Tampa Bay Estuary Program website (

The next complete status report will be issued on Friday, May 21st. 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.

FWC: Fish Kills Have Been Reported in Both Counties. Red Tide Found in: 11 Samples in Manatee and 12 Samples in Sarasota

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