Red tide season approaching again as beaches finally see relief

Reporter: Anika Henanger
Published: Updated:

Although parts of Southwest Florida have reported less or no red tide in the water in the past weeks, we are approaching the time of year when red tide resurfaces.

Those brief weeks weren’t much of a break.

“After Hurricane Michael, a lot of the area cleaned up as far as red tide went, all of the counts have gotten a lot lower,” said Aaron Koher, owner and operator of Glass Bottom Rentals. “We’re just taking it day by day.”

Red tide blooms are currently present in Boca Grande, but that isn’t stopping beachgoers from heading out to the water this weekend.

“The wind is actually good for fishing, it gets the bait fish moving, and lets you sneak up on the fish,” said Captain Sandy Melvin, a charter captain.

Experts at Florida Gulf Coast University and Florida Fish and Wildlife say the direction of wind changes as Southwest Florida heads into the cooler months.

Those winds can pull up nutrient-rich water that red tide feeds on.

Local businesses hope that won’t happen.

“There’s still some low concentrations and patches, but it’s nothing like what we saw back in June,” Melvin said.

Red tide map October 25, 2018.

Experts say some models show the wind pushing pockets of red tide present in Boca Grande down to Lee County.

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