While red tide is clearing up from the rest of Florida’s waters, the harmful algae is holding on in Manatee County.
In the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s latest weekly update released Friday, officials said Karenia brevis levels were still found at medium concentrations (between 100,000 and 1,000,000 cells per liter) along the Palma Sola Causeway.
The sample was taken Monday and was the highest concentration of red tide found throughout the entire state. Very low concentrations (between 1,000 and 10,000 cells per liter) of K. brevis were also detected at the Longboat Pass Boat Ramp, but 10 other water samples throughout the county revealed that the harmful algae was not present.
The persistence of red tide along the causeway is no surprise to county officials, who were recently forced to clean up thousands of mullet and hundreds of catfish that are suspected to have been killed by an algae bloom. The FWC, however, received no reports of fish kills over the past week.
Respiratory issues were reported in Manatee, though. Experts say medium concentrations are enough to cause respiratory irritation and probably fish kills.