ENGLEWOOD — Like elsewhere in Southwest Florida, Manasota Key cannot shake concentrations of red tide algae.
The time of the day and the direction of the wind, however, determines who it will affect.
With the easterly winds, Englewood Beach and South Manasota Key appeared free of red tide Friday morning. No telltale airborne toxins, no dead fish rolling in the surf or being washed onto the shore.
That wasn’t the case at Manasota Beach, just a few miles to the north.
“Over 400 (dead fish) littered the sand between the waves and the high tide mark,” Jean Kathleen Ranallo said Friday. She reported an early morning fish kill of mostly baitfish in progress Thursday.
“The slime was worse this morning, so I showered and then walked the length of the beach counting,” Ranallo said. “There were hardly any small fry — and also hardly any birds landing to see what was on today’s breakfast menu.”
Varying concentrations of toxic algae turned up in water samples take shoreline waters from Venice south to Marco Island, according to the Florida Fish and Game Conservation Commission Friday. The highest concentrations — a million or more cells — linger in Pine Island Sound, other Lee and Collier County waters.
In Sarasota County, the water sample counts ranged from low concentrations, 10,000 to 100,000 cells per liter of water, to medium concentrations, 100,000 to a million cells per liter of water. Blind Pass Beach on Manasota Key, and Venice area beaches saw the higher concentrations.
Charlotte County counts ranged from very low, less than 10,000 cells per liter of water, to high concentrations, a million or more cells per liter of water, the report stated.
The high concentration turned up in one water sample taken in Gasparilla Sound, from the Charlotte County’s Boca Grande fishing pier on Gasparilla Island. Medium concentrations turned up in water samples taken from Gasparilla Pass, Placida Harbor and Stump Pass.