The Karenia brevis algae that causes red tide is still present in Southwest Florida waters, but it has dropped below bloom concentrations in every area but one.
That’s right, Manatee County.
Manatee County is the only place where significant levels of red tide were observed in the past week, according to the latest update from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
One high-concentration sample (greater than 1,000,000 cells of K. Brevis per liter) and one medium-concentration sample (100,000 to 1 million cells of K. Brevis per liter) were taken at Palma Sola Bay.
All other samples, including those taken off of Anna Maria Island, showed that red tide was not present or at background levels (less than 1,000 cells per liter).
K. brevis was observed below bloom concentrations in Pinellas, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee and Collier counties in Southwest Florida, and off of Brevard County on the east coast.
No fish kills were reported in any counties this week, according to FWC. Respiratory irritation was reported in Manatee, Sarasota, Lee and Collier counties.
A short-term red tide tracking map produced by the College of Marine Science at University of South Florida and the Florida Wildlife Research Institute predicts that very low concentrations of red tide will persist around Anna Maria Island and medium concentrations will persist around Palma Sola Bay over the next three days.