Red tide impacting charter industry in parts of SWFL, not so much beachgoers

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson Writer: Jack Lowenstein

You might not notice red tide on the beach, but it’s evident further out in the Gulf, and it’s hurting the charter boat industry.

Medium concentrations of red tide are high enough for fish kills, yet the shores look to be clean Friday.

Still, there are red tide advisories at beaches along the coast, and it kept some beachgoers from swimming in the water.

Marine researchers at FGCU say concentrations are high enough for fish kills.

“There could be a lot of reasons why we’re not seeing dead fishes washing up on the beach,” said Greg Tolley, an expert in marine ecology at FGCU. “That doesn’t necessarily mean there aren’t fish kills farther offshore.”

While the university’s researchers took a dive 75 miles offshore recently and didn’t find red tide, some fishing captains near North Naples canceled trips because they couldn’t keep bait fish alive with the water conditions.

“The latest tracking data shows red tide is heading southeast, southeastern direction,” Tolley said. “It could just be a matter of more time for those conditions to develop.”

Scientists at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium told us, with the bloom being patchy right now, fish can move in and out, finding relief. Other fishing captains told us they steered clear of red tide.

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.