Dead fish washing up on Collier County beaches due to high levels of red tide

Reporter: Michelle Alvarez Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

Dead fish appear on beaches in Naples. City crews spent Friday morning picking up the dead animals as red tide worsened in the Gulf of Mexico.

The City of Naples says they’re seeing high levels of red tide at the Naples Pier and Lowdermilk Park.

People, young and old, could not escape the effects of red tide on Friday, especially if you walked right up to the Gulf shore water.

Red tide can be hit or miss depending on what beach you decide to visit. On Friday, at Naples Beach, red tide was a hit. It is evident to most people visiting the sand.

“It goes on spurts. Like sometimes we’ll cough, and sometimes we’re fine,” said Lauren Tubbi, visiting from Michigan.

“A little bit of a cough, aggravating your throat just a little bit,” said Cindy Lansing, of Naples.

Collier County beach waters are tested daily. This week’s results show increasing levels of toxic algae bloom.

“We noticed that right when we got to the beach. We started coughing and kind of in waves, and I figured it was kind of a red tide because we’ve been here for that before,” said Michael Pittman, from Boca Raton.

Possible red tide off Vanderbilt Beach. (Credit: Ralph Arwood)

The photo above was taken Thursday over Vanderbilt Beach. Scientists fear the water on the right with the brownish tint is red tide.

Then there’s the fish kill. The City of Naples and Collier County sent crews to clean the beaches Friday morning.

“Do not swim in the water, especially if there are dead fish. If you do come in contact with water that is affected by red tide, you should wash your clothes as well as your skin with fresh water and soap. And also, be aware of pets. Do not allow them to swim in the water,” said Kristine Hollingsworth, public information officer for the Florida Department of Health in Collier County.

Pittman came to Naples on Friday from Boca Raton. She said the drive was worth it, even with the red tide. “I’m fine with having a little cough here and there. It’s still worth being out. We can handle that.”

It’s important to note that Collier and Lee counties have issued red tide advisories.

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