Algal bloom found in southwest Florida

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Friday that a bloom of the Florida red tide organism, Karenia brevis, was found in Charlotte and Lee counties in the southwest part of the state.

The algal bloom was observed in background concentrations in samples collected from Manatee and Sarasota counties and in background to medium concentrations in 12 samples gathered in Charlotte County and 14 samples from Lee County.

The FWC said additional samples collected throughout the state last week did not contain K. brevis.

Fish kills were reported along Lee County on Nov. 26 and Wednesday, and slight respiratory irritation in fish was reported in the same county last week.

Last weekend, forecasts for southwest Florida by the University of South Florida-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides predicted net offshore movement of surface waters and southern, onshore movement of subsurface waters from Pinellas to Lee counties.

Additional information for red tides, including maps and reports, is available on the Fish and Wildlife Institute Red Tide website. It provides links to additional information, including satellite imagery, experimental red tide forecasts, shellfish harvesting areas, The FWC Fish Kill Hotline and the Florida Poison Information Center.

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