SARASOTA (WWSB) - Red tide concentrations continue to increase along the Suncoast.
Over the past two weeks, the coast from Manatee to Charlotte counties has seen high concentrations move in. Previously after Hurricane Michael, the coastline was largely free of red dots indicating high concentrations of the algae. That has changed and now the coastline is almost a solid line of red with a few orange dots indicating medium concentrations.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports Sarasota and Charlotte counties have had a greater than 25 percent increase in red tide concentration, while Manatee County has seen a 5-25 percent increase. Samples showed background to high concentrations in or offshore of Manatee County, very low to high concentrations in or offshore of Sarasota County, and very low to high concentrations in Charlotte County.
Reports of fish kills were received in Manatee and Sarasota counties, where there were also reports of respiratory irritation.
Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides for Pinellas to northern Monroe counties predict variable movement of surface and net southern movement of subsurface waters over the next three days.