SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - Like it or not, red tide is still along the Suncoast from Pinellas to northern Collier counties.
Though overall cell counts are down week-to-week, particularly in Sarasota County, background to medium concentrations were found in Manatee County, background to high concentrations were found in Sarasota County, and very low to high concentrations were found in or offshore of Charlotte County.
Over the past week, fish kills and respiratory irritation were received for multiple locations in Manatee and Sarasota counties.
An aerial survey on Thursday as well as recent water sampling and chlorophyll satellite imagery shows that the bloom likely extends offshore (10 miles or more) in some areas of the bloom region. Patchy accumulations of the marine cyanobacterium Trichodesmium were also observed ~10 miles offshore of Manatee and Sarasota counties.
Persistent surface currents, prior to, during, and after the passage of Tropical Storm Gordon, likely played a role in transporting red tide to the northwest.
Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides predict net northwestern movement of surface waters for most areas and net southeastern transport of subsurface waters over the next three days. A change from northwestern to southeastern surface transport is predicted to occur towards the end of this period.
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