SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - After reaching Englewood in Charlotte County last week, red tide has officially crossed the county line and is once again in Sarasota County.
The daily sample map from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), which was updated at 5pm Tuesday, shows low- and medium- concentrations of red tide as far north as Venice Beach. The bloom stretches south to Lee and Collier counties, where some high concentrations can be found.
At low- and medium-concentrations, there can be respiratory irritation and possible fish kills.
FWC released its midweek status update on Wednesday. It says respiratory irritation has been reported in Sarasota County where five samples found background to medium concentrations of red tide. No fish kills have been reported in Sarasota County, though fish kills were reported in Charlotte County as well as further south in Lee and Collier counties.
The midweek status update also shows there is a chance the bloom might not move further north. Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides predict variable transport of surface waters in most areas and southeastern transport of subsurface waters over the next four days.
A full report from FWC will be released on Friday.
If you’re considering going to the beach, you can see the daily red tide sample map from the FWC here. You can also call 866-300-9399 at any time from anywhere in Florida to hear a recording about red tide conditions throughout the state.
It’s important to remember that beach conditions, even with red tide present in the water, can vary, particularly if the wind is blowing towards the Gulf. You can see daily beach condition reports at visitbeaches.org
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows current conditions as well as red tide forecasts for 3-4 days. Though currently only available in Lee and Collier counties, officials are hoping to bring this beach-level forecast northwards once they have additional funding. You can learn more about this technology below: