SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - The latest data from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shows even less red tide concentration than their midweek update.
The level of red tide decreased in parts of Manatee, Sarasota, and Charlotte counties, resulting in patchier bloom conditions along the coast. Only two sites in Pinellas County had high concentrations.
Though red tide isn't being found in high concentrations in the waters off the Suncoast, enterococcus bacteria is and a dozen beaches have a "no swim" advisory in Sarasota County. See which beaches are affected here.
In their water samples, Pinellas County had very low to high concentrations, while both Sarasota and Manatee counties had background to low concentrations.
This marks a continued trend in the red tide reports the Suncoast has seen recently where red tide has been decreasing in concentration.
However, there's no telling what effect, if any, Hurricane Michael will have on the bloom after the waters of the Gulf have time to settle. Some believe it will have an overall beneficial effect:
However, forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides for Southwest Florida from Pinellas to northern Monroe counties predict net southern transport of surface waters and southeastern movement of subsurface waters for most areas over the next three days. If water containing red tide was pushed north by Michael, it may be pulled back over the next few days.
Fish kills were still reported in Pinellas and Sarasota counties, as was respiratory irritation. Manatee County also had reports of respiratory irritation.
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