A bloom of Karenia brevis, the Florida red tide organism, persists in Southwest Florida, with the highest concentrations detected last week alongshore and inshore of Charlotte and Lee counties. The highest concentrations last week were at Englewood Beach, west of Cayo Costa, at Captiva Rocks and at York Island off the southern tip of Pine Island. The red tide currently affects approximately 100 miles of coastline from Sarasota through Collier County. Respiratory irritation and fish kills continue to be reported in the affected areas.
Local anglers have reported large numbers of dead fish in parts of Lemon Bay and areas of fishless water in Gasparilla Sound and Pine Island Sound, though some other fishermen have reported no problems in Gasparilla Sound. The hallmark of this bloom has been its patchiness, so if you find yourself in an affected area, move on quickly. The few anglers who got offshore this past week reported finding no problems past 5 miles.
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