Red tide still lingering at Sarasota, Manatee County beaches
SARASOTA — Sarasota and Manatee County beachgoers could feel some respiratory irritation from red tide at Lido Beach, South Lido Park, Siesta Key and Turtle Beach, where the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County reported low red tide cell counts. The effects will be more prevalent farther south at Nokomis Beach, North Jetty, Venice Beach, Service Club Park, Venice Fishing Pier, Brohard (dog) Beach, Caspersen Beach and Blind Pass, where red tide levels are high.
High concentrations of red tide and discolored water have also been reported at Manasota Beach.
There were no observed effects at Longboat Key or Bird Key Park, the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County says.
The algae is not expected to move much over the next three days, according to the University of South Florida-Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Collarboration for Prediction of Red Tide, which forecasts harmful algal blooms in Florida.
Experts began monitoring the current red tide bloom that has killed thousands of fish, sea turtles, a duck and a manatee in Southwest Florida, beginning last October, according to FWC Research Division spokeswoman Michelle Kerr.
Kerr said sea turtles and manatees are infected by ingesting sea grass blades and shellfish. She said the FWC has documented more than 200 reports through the Fish Kill Hotline.