Red tide creeps back into Sarasota County, officials say. Could it return to Manatee?

The latest red tide report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission contains great news for Manatee County, but our neighbors aren’t so lucky.

There wasn’t a trace of the Karenia brevis algae that causes red tide in any of the 13 water samples officials collected from local waters in the past week. The same couldn’t be said for Sarasota County, according to Friday’s report.

Experts said red tide is back at high concentrations in the adjacent county. One inshore sample at the Lido Beach Casino and one offshore sample at Lido Key indicated heavy presence of red tide at more than 1,000,000 cells per liter.

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Medium concentrations of between 100,000 and 1,000,000 cells per liter were also found at the New Pass Dock, and low concentrations of 10,000 to 100,000 cells per liter were found at Turtle Beach. Various locations also reported very low and background concentrations.

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The only other presence of red tide algae in Florida was found in background concentrations at the South Seas Plantation in Lee County.

According to the FWC, no fish kills were reported this week, but some did report respiratory irritation in Manatee County despite the perceived absence of red tide.

Manatee Public Beach has been warm and beautiful the past few days, with no signs of red tide. Tiffany Tompkins ttompkins@bradenton.com

Those looking for an update on red tide conditions can dial (866) 300-9399 at any time from anywhere in Florida to receive the latest conditions from the FWC. Anyone outside of Florida is asked to call (727) 552-2448.