Red Tide Update: Flower Concentrations Found in 5 Tampa Bay Counties

Red tide at North Shore Park on July 15, 2021. (WFLA Photo/Megan Gannon)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Red tide concentrations were detected in 86 water samples from five counties in the Tampa Bay area this week, according to the latest update from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The update released on Friday evening states blooming 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.

Samples showed background red tide at high concentrations at Pinellas, very low to high concentrations at Hillsborough, background at high concentrations at Manatee, and very low to high concentrations at Sarasota County, said the FWC. Background to moderate concentrations were detected at Pasco.

According to the FWC report, fish kills “suspected to be red tide related” were reported in Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota counties. Additionally, respiratory irritation has been reported in Pinellas, Manatee, and Sarasota counties.

“The USF-FWC Collaborative Red Tide Prediction Forecast for Pinellas in North Monroe Counties predicts northwestward movement of surface water along the coast and minimal net groundwater transport in most regions 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. Catch and release of pike, redfish and spotted sea trout only, effective immediately. The new regulations come just over a month after normal regulations resumed in our region following the severe red tide of 2017-2019.

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