A red tide bloom has been reported in southwest Florida, with a high concentration found in Sarasota County, according to a report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Over the past week, red tide, also called Karena brevis, was found in high concentrations in 14 samples collected from Sarasota County and medium concentrations in samples from Charlotte and Lee counties. Very low to high concentrations in several samples were also collected in Collier County, according to the FWC.
The fish kills were reported on Monday at Manasota Beach. Other beaches in Lee and Collier counties also had fish kills. Respiratory irritation was reported at many of the same sites, including Manasota Beach between March 7-9, wildlife officials said.
The report, released Wednesday, did show red tide levels decreasing in Manatee. Last week, background concentrations were found in a sample from the county but none were reported this week.
Samantha Putterman: 941-745-7027, @samputterman