Red tide noticeable at some Charlotte County beaches

Reporter: Erika Jackson Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Murky water could be seen rolling in with the tide on Manasota Key, where red tide concentrations were present offshore Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. Credit: WINK News.

Fish kills at a Southwest Florida beach are a sign red tide is worsening in the area.

Poor beach conditions in Charlotte County Monday are keeping people away from the water. We were at the beach on Manasota Key, where not too many beachgoers were seen.

“It’s not penetrating my throat, but I do smell it a little bit,” Joe Carta said. “It could be the dead fish too.”

Carta immediately sensed something was off.

“You could tell by the color of the water; it’s terrible,” Carta said. “Normally, the water is turquoise or a good green. It’s kind of brown.”

Hundreds of dead fish have been floating atop discolored water.

Charlotte County Public Works filled the beds of three of vehicles with dead fish Monday morning.

“Another tell-tale,” Carta said. “Look how many few people on this beach. Even in the dead of the season, this beach is fairly crowded.”

Maggie Taylor was also among the few beachgoers.

“It’s keeping me from getting in the water,” Taylor said. “But I’m OK staying at the back part of the beach.”

The east side of Manasota Key isn’t much better. Clusters of dead fish plague the shoreline of Lemon Bay.

“This isn’t enjoyable at all,” Carta said. “Kind of leaves me wondering about what should I do if I can’t go to the beach?”

Red Tide hasn’t reached Charlotte Harbor at this time. The county says there have not been any fish kills to clear from Port Charlotte Beach Park at this time.

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