ENGLEWOOD — Red tide continues to spread in the waters around Englewood, including the Gulf of Mexico and Lemon Bay.
In the latest update from the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission at 5 p.m. Friday, high concentrations were found in samples taken off Englewood Beach and Blind Pass Beach on Manasota Key as well as Boca Grande, Gasparilla Sound, and north in Venice Beaches like Caspersen, Brohard Park and the Venice Fishing Pier.
Medium concentrations were reported at Manasota Beach, and in Lemon Bay near the Tom Adams Bridge in Englewood and near the fishing pier at Placida and throughout Gasparilla Sound.
Mote Marine Lab in Sarasota reported beachgoers experienced “slight” respiratory irritation at Manasota Beach in Englewod and north at Nokomis Beach on Casey Key. There were some dead fish reported at both of those beaches, although none were reported at Venice Beach. Fishermen have also reported fish kills offshore.
Low concentrations were found in a sample collected Thursday at New Pass Dock in Sarasota, and samples from earlier in the week show low concentrations near Siesta Key Beach.
In Lee and Collier counties, samples continue to show high and medium concentrations all along the coast, including Sanibel and Captiva Island beaches, Pine Island Sound and the lower reaches of Charlotte Harbor.
The red tide algae, Karenia brevis, is a native species of algae to the Gulf of Mexico, with blooms typically forming in the Gulf 10 to 40 miles offshore before moving near shore. Generally, concentrations of red tide blooms between Clearwater and Sanibel, but a bloom can occur anywhere in the Gulf.