NAPLES — The Thanksgiving weekend weather is expected to be worthy of thanks but enjoying it at Collier County beaches could come with an unwelcome guest.
Pollution control monitors reported Wednesday that northerly winds could push a stubborn offshore red tide south, prompting a warning from the county staff for beachgoers with asthma or emphysema to exercise caution.
Red tide is a bloom of microscopic algae that emits a toxin that in high enough concentrations can kill marine life and cause respiratory problems — from watery eyes to coughing episodes — in humans.
Water samples collected Monday from Vanderbilt Beach, Seagate, the Naples Pier and South Marco Beach showed red tide wasn't present, but effects of the red tide have been felt this week on Marco Island.
Dead fish were reported Monday from Tigertail Beach to the Marco Marriott Beach Resort. Dead fish were reported Tuesday on South Marco Beach and near Caxambas Pass, according to a county report issued Wednesday. No respiratory irritation has been reported since Nov. 15, according to the report.
Pollution monitors said they would collect more water samples Tuesday to be tested for red tide at a state laboratory in St. Petersburg. Results could be ready the next day.
NBC-2 meteorologists are forecasting unseasonably cool temperatures and plenty of sunshine this weekend, with highs in the mid-70s and lows in the low- to mid-50s.
To report dead fish or red tide symptoms, call 239-252-2502. For red tide updates, call the county's pre-recorded hot line at 239-252-2591 or go to www.colliergov.net/redtideupdate.