While Englewood suffers from massive fish kill, our island is hit-and-miss with red tide

August 6, 2021
By Marcy Shortuse

As the water heats up and the rains start coming more frequently, we all start to get nervous about our old nemsis named red tide. For weeks we had been hearing about the problems Tampa Bay was having with the algae named Karenia brevis, but it wasn’t until two weeks ago that we realized “Karen” had come to visit our beaches as well.

However, the depth and breadth of this bloom was not as bad as it could have been, even though many visitors were not happy at all with the smell of dead fish and the coughing they experienced when they tried to get in the water. You just have to understand how bad it was a couple of years ago to see that the first bloom of the summer of 2021, so far, is not that bad.

But there may be more to come.

Last week Englewood beaches were filled with dead fish. It seemed the further north you went from Gasparilla Island, the more red tide you found.

This past week our red tide readings went from medium, to low, to almost non-existent in many places around the area. The south end of our island seemed to be hit the worst, with a few Goliath grouper washed up and many smaller fish as well. Little Gasparilla Island also experienced some significant fish kills, as well as Englewood Beach.

The latest readings show medium concentrations in Charlotte County (in two samples), and background to medium concentrations in Lee County (in eight samples). North of us, past Englewood, things seem to be getting better as well.

We will keep you posted.