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Red Tide Retreats In Tampa Bay, But Blooms In Full Force On Beaches

 Map of red tide blooms
Map of red tide blooms

Conditions for red tide are improving in Tampa Bay after the fisheries there were devastated but remain high along the Gulf Coast.

Red tide has finally retreated from Tampa Bay. But the red tide blooms are in full force along the Gulf beaches, from Citrus to Sarasota counties.

The latest report from state wildlife officials say only residual levels of the organism that causes red tide has been found in the bay, after untold numbers of fish were killed earlier this month.

High concentrations of red tide have been found in 70 samples the past two days. Officials say 27 were in Sarasota County, 24 in Pinellas, seven in Pasco and six in Manatee County.

The highest concentrations were found off Clearwater Beach, Indian Shores, Redington Beach, Madeira Beach and Treasure Island in Pinellas County. In Sarasota, the heaviest red tide is found off New Pass, Lido Beach, Siesta Key, Turtle Beach, Nokomis and North Jetty Park.

Fish kills suspected to be related to red tide were reported in Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota counties over the past week.

Respiratory irritation was reported in Pasco, Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota counties.

Copyright 2021 WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7

Steve Newborn is WUSF's assistant news director as well as a reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.