MANATEE -- A bloom of Karenia brevis, the Florida red tide organism, is ongoing in the northeast Gulf of Mexico although it continues to pose little threat to Manatee County offshore waters.
No red tide has been detected so far this week alongshore or offshore of Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, Collier, or Monroe counties. In addition, a two-week glider deployment by USF revealed no detectable red tide in bottom waters offshore of Pinellas County.
Widespread Trichodesmium blooms in surface waters have also been observed approximately 1 to 5 miles offshore of Clearwater Beach (Pinellas County) south to Sanibel Island (Lee County) and offshore in the current red tide bloom areas.
Satellite images from the Optical Oceanography Laboratory at the University of South Florida show only the northernmost section of the bloom extending offshore between Franklin and Citrus counties (with likely continuation south to Pasco County), starting approximately 5 to 35 miles offshore, dependent on location.
Samples analyzed by FWC confirm bloom concentrations of K. brevis near the patches revealed by imagery.
Background to high concentrations were detected offshore of Dixie County, and background to medium concentrations were detected offshore of Levy County and in Cedar Key (Levy County).
Fish kills and respiratory irritation have been reported in the bloom area.
Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides for the next three days show strong offshore movement of surface waters and slow onshore movement of bottom waters for the bloom patch located at the coast near Levy County.
The patch south between Wakulla and Taylor counties and east-southeast of Franklin County is predicted to continue to move west. Offshore of Pasco and Hernando counties, the surface patch is predicted to move northwest, and bottom waters are predicted to move northeast along the coast.