Red tide detected off Sarasota County beaches

MANATEE -- A bloom of red tide has been spotted in Sarasota County, heading southwest, according to Hayley Rutger, a Mote Marine Laboratory spokeswoman.

"We're definitely seeing effects of red tide algae," she said Wedneday.

The bloom was far south of Manatee County, near the Lee-Charlotte county line.

Adverse respiratory effects had been reported in Sarasota, Venice, Nokomis and possibly Englewood, Rutger said.

Rutger could not explain why a red flag was posted this morning at Manatee Beach, and a yellow flag at Coquina Beach, but guessed they indicated rough water conditions.

As part of the Sarasota marine lab's "Beach Conditions Report" for today, officials did not report red tide at either Manatee County beach, according to the Mote website.