Red tide reports last week abated somewhat, perhaps due to cooler temperatures or a prevailing northerly wind. Although the bloom still extends across a huge swath of the Southwest Florida coast — about 140 miles from Pinellas to Collier counties — average concentrations of Karenia brevis, the organism that causes red tide, were down. In fact, only one sample collected last week contained a high concentration of K. brevis.
Unfortunately for Charlotte County anglers and boaters, that sample was taken in Placida Harbor, and three other Charlotte samples showed medium amounts — more than enough to cause respiratory irritation and kill fish. Freshly dead fish have been fewer this week, though there have been some localized kills. With the wind blowing from shore, most beachgoers noticed no problems.
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