Red tide re­fuses to clear out of Anna Maria Is­land wa­ters, lat­est re­port says

The Bradenton Herald - - News - BY RYAN CALLIHAN rcal­li­[email protected]­ton.com Ryan Callihan: 941-745-7095, @RCCal­li­han

Wa­ters com­pletely free of red tide re­main a dis­tant dream off of Anna Maria Is­land.

The lat­est re­port from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Com­mis­sion re­leased Fri­day in­di­cated that wa­ter sam­ples in Man­a­tee still con­tain traces of Kare­nia bre­vis al­gae. But more than half of the sam­ples taken this week did not con­tain the harm­ful al­gae.

Five sam­ples, how­ever, re­ported back­ground to low con­cen­tra­tions. FWC of­fi­cials said back­ground con­cen­tra­tions (be­tween 0 and 1,000 cells per liter) were found along At­las Street, while sam­ples taken from near Palma Sola Bay Bridge and School Key were both very low (be­tween 1,000 and 10,000 cells per liter.)

FWC ex­perts said the strong­est sam­pling of red tide came from both the Rod & Reel Pier and the Long­boat Pass Boat Ramp, where they dis­cov­ered low con­cen­tra­tions (be­tween 10,000 and 100,000 cells per liter) of K. bre­vis al­gae.

Wa­ter sam­ples were not col­lected from any lo­cal beaches this week. The Braden­ton Her­ald re­ported Mon­day that symp­toms of red tide were not de­tected along Anna Maria Is­land beaches.

Pinel­las and Hills­bor­ough coun­ties re­main mostly un­af­fected by red tide, with only back­ground con­cen­tra­tions re­ported, but the FWC said Sara­sota County con­tin­ues to be more se­verely af­fected than other coastal coun­ties.

In nearly 40 sam­ples taken from Sara­sota wa­ters, only nine of them did not con­tain traces of K.

bre­vis al­gae, of­fi­cials said. The sam­ples ranged from back­ground to medium con­cen­tra­tions (be­tween 100,000 and 1,000,000 cells per liter.) Only one sam­ple from South Lido Park re­vealed a high con­cen­tra­tion (more than 1,000,000 cells per liter) of red tide, though.

There were no fish kills re­ported in South­west Florida this week, ac­cord­ing to the FWC, but res­pi­ra­tory is­sues were re­ported in both Man­a­tee and Sara­sota coun­ties.

Ex­perts say very low con­cen­tra­tions are enough to cause pos­si­ble breath­ing is­sues.

Red tide’s re­turn may be strong­est, how­ever, in Col­lier County, where ex­perts said they col­lected five off­shore sam­ples of red tide that in­di­cated high con­cen­tra­tions of the harm­ful al­gae.

For the lat­est red tide in­for­ma­tion from the FWC, dial (866) 300-9399 from any­where in Florida. Call­ers out­side of Florida may dial (727) 552-2448.

FWC

Ex­perts say very low con­cen­tra­tions of K. bre­vis al­gae are enough to cause pos­si­ble breath­ing is­sues. Red tide’s re­turn may be strong­est in Col­lier County.

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