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Red tide killed tons of fish. Part of the comeback starts at Robinson Preserve

Some took off like a rocket, others meandered a bit and one or two even tried to get back into their release bags, but more than 2,000 juvenile redfish and 31 adults all made it safely into the waters of Robinson Preserve on Tuesday morning.

Robinson Preserve was the fourth of several release points affected by red tide during the past 18 months along Florida’s Gulf Coast. In all, more than 16,000 redfish will be released.

A few dozen people came out to Robinson Preserve in Northwest Bradenton to watch as the adults were released one by one and most of the juveniles — between 4-6 inches long — were delivered into the water from their tank via a tube. All of the fish were certified healthy by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the adults were tagged so if caught, anglers can help the state track their movement.