Red tide hit hard on Anna Maria Island
The Karenia brevis algae that causes red tide was still lingering in Manatee County waters earlier this week, according to the latest report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Background to very low concentrations of K. Brevis were observed off Anna Maria Island.
However, the most-recent water samples taken around the county offer a more hopeful outlook.
All 14 samples collected within the last three days showed that red tide was not present or at background levels (0 to 1,000 cells of K. Brevis per liter).
Sarasota County did not fare as well.
High and medium concentrations were observed offshore during the week, and the most recent samples show that low and medium concentrations remain.
One low-concentration sample (more than 10,000 to 1,000,000 cells of K. Brevis per liter) was taken just south of Manatee County off Whale Key.
Around the rest of Southwest Florida, K. brevis was observed at background to very low levels in Charlotte County, background to low levels in Lee and Monroe counties and very low to high levels in Collier County.
No fish kills were reported in any counties this week, according to FWC. Respiratory irritation was reported in Manatee, Sarasota and Pinellas 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 Manatee County waters will remain red-tide-free over the next three days.