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While water samples taken at beaches this week were clear of red tide, some respiratory irritation was reported on Manasota Key. A sample taken in Charlotte Harbor near El Jobean showed medium concentrations of the algae.

ENGLEWOOD — Red tide isn’t bad around Manasota Key and Gasparilla Island, but it’s hanging around.

Samples taken in Charlotte Harbor, near the El Jobean Bridge, showed medium amounts of the red tide algae, Karina brevis, this week.

Another sample taken in Boca Grand Pass on the south end of Gasparilla Island, showed low concentrations, Florida Fish and Game Conservation Commission reported Friday.

Higher concentrations of red tide can lead to coughing, respiratory and other ailments in humans, and death to marine animals including dish, dolphins, sea turtles and manatees.

Very slight scents of airborne toxins were detected at Englewood Beach and Manasota beaches on Manasota Key Friday afternoon, according to reports. Mote also reported Friday how dead fish washed up on the North Jetty beach in Nokomis, north of Venice.

As it has for several weeks, Lee County drew the short straw with red tide this week.


Nowhere else in the state were as many water samples collected with toxic quantities the red tide algae, according to state scientists. Higher concentrations also appeared in samples taken from Captiva, Matlacha Pass and elsewhere in Lee County.

The news, however, is mostly good on habforecast.gcoos.org, which posts a map anticipating red tide conditions on beaches throughout Southwest Florida.

Collier County earned a reprieve this week with only three water samples tainted with red tide, one taken from Gullivan Bay with low concentrations of red tide cells, a second and third samples taken from South Marco Beach and Coon Key with very low counts, less than 10,000 cells per liter of water.

Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota posts its daily beach conditions on visitbeaches.org.

To learn more about red tide algae, visit myfwc.com.

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