Red tide monitors have found levels of the toxic algae bloom at various concentrations this week along Collier County beaches and reported a smattering of dead fish on Barefoot Beach on Wednesday.
Water samples taken Monday showed red tide at background levels at Barefoot and Vanderbilt beaches, at medium levels at Seagate, and at very low levels at the Naples Pier. Red tide was not present at Marco Island beaches, according to the county’s pollution control department.
Offshore, patches of water with elevated to very high chlorophyll levels, an indication of a possible red tide, were visible on satellite imagery stretching as far south as southern Collier County, the department reported today.
Red tide is a bloom of microscopic algae that can release a toxin that kills marine life and causes respiratory irritation. The county has not received any reports of respiratory irritation at the beaches but is cautioning people with emphysema and asthma to avoid the beach.
Winds will be mostly from the south this week with a slight westerly shift Friday, which could worsen red tide impacts at the beaches. To report dead fish or red tide symptions, call 239-252-2502. Red tide updates are available on the county hotline at 239-252-2591 or at www.colliergov.net/redtideupdate.