Red tide continues to plague Southwest Florida

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
red tide marco island
dead fish in canal on Marco Island

While levels in some places have improved, high red tide levels are still plaguing parts of Southwest Florida. From Charlotte Harbor to Pine Island Sound to Sanibel are experiencing clusters of low and medium levels. But, near Vanderbilt Beach, we are seeing some high levels of red tide.

latest red tide map
latest red tide map

There is a sign up at Vanderbilt Beach saying red tide is present. WINK News Reporter Gina Tomlinson even said she felt the tingle in the back of her throat.

For now, there are no dead fish present on Vanderbilt Beach but in other parts of Collier County, the story is different.

Rick Popoff lives on Marco Island. “Decomposing rotten carcasses” are all he’s been seeing.

Piles of decaying fish have been floating in Popoff’s canal on Marco Island for about two weeks now.

“We have an 18-year-old chihuahua and it smells like her breath,” said Popoff.

The smell isn’t the only reason that red tide stinks for these neighbors. Dave Nichols lives on Marco Island as well.

“You feel it in your throat, you have a sore throat and cough,” Nichols said.

“This year it seems to be hugging the shorelines because of the winds,” said Popoff.

Dead fish are also washing ashore on beaches near Goodland. But offshore, there are clean pristine waters.

Collier County fishing captains believe that conditions have improved over the past few days. However, NOAA predicts over the weekend red tide will strengthen on shorelines like Vanderbilt Beach.

Dave and Linda Mock think it has gotten better too. “Couple weeks ago, it was really bad, but right now it doesn’t bother us at all,” said Dave.

So, for now, Dave and Linda are soaking up every little moment of sunshine in the sand.

“Of course, we love the beach and come to the beach and when the red tide is stronger it takes away all the fun,” said Linda.

Again, NOAA does predict medium to high levels of red tide throughout Collier County this weekend. Blooms are patchy so if you start to experience issues, you are advised to move indoors.

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