Despite frigid Florida temperatures, water too warm to kill red tide, experts say
The chill that is essentially freezing Floridians to the core probably won’t have a big effect one of the state’s least popular nautical residents: red tide.
Despite this, the bloom that had been stinking up Southwest Florida shores since at least mid-November appears to be crawling north.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s mid-week red tide report studying water samples taken from Dec. 26 through Jan. 2, the Karenia brevis organism was found in background concentrations in one sample near Pinellas County; in low concentrations in one sample in Manatee; and in background to high concentrations in the 16 samples in Sarasota.
Some water samples in Charlotte and Lee counties also had high concentrations, which means there were more than 1 million K. brevis cells per liter of water. Fish kills and respiratory irritation were also reported between Sarasota and Lee counties.