SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) – Although experts predicted a southerly move thanks to currents and prevailing winds, the red tide has crept further north into Sarasota County, now detected as far north as Siesta Beach.
In the latest red tide report, water samples from Siesta Beach had very low to low concentrations while beaches further south along the Gulf Coast had medium to high concentrations.
Fish kills and respiratory irritation have been reported in Sarasota County, as well as Charlotte, Lee and Collier counties.
Although the red tide has moved a bit further north, experts still point out that it’s not like last year’s outbreak.
“It’s a combination of a lot of different things, the physical environment, the shell of West Florida, flowering starts offshore then moves inshore, has access to 13 different nutrients,” said the Dr. Cynthia Heil, director of the Red Tide Institute of Mote Marine. Lab says. “This particular year, everything was on schedule. It started in Naples and it’s slowly moving north.
“[This] the red tide is so uneven that a beach will be affected. It’s probably the beach a mile or two away [away] won’t be. So it’s always a good idea to check the forecast before you go.
The USF-FWC Red Tide Prediction Collaboration predicts net southwestward movement of surface water and net southeastward transport of groundwater over most regions over the next four days.
A full FWC report will be released on Friday.
If you’re planning on hitting the beach, you can see the FWC’s sample daily red tide map here. You can also call 866-300-9399 anytime from anywhere in Florida to listen to a recording of red tide conditions statewide.
It is important to remember that beach conditions, even with a red tide present in the water, can vary, particularly if the wind is blowing towards the gulf. You can see daily beach condition reports at visitbeaches.org
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