Water-Related News

Red tide off SWFL coast, but Lake O releases to decrease

SANIBEL — Red tide levels are high enough to possibly cause fish kills off Southwest Florida’s coastline, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

As of Friday, Dec. 11, no reports of fish kills have been reported, however moderate respiratory irritation in the bay between Sanibel Island and Pine Island.

The highest concentrations of red tide are right around Sanibel Island, near the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River. Blooms have also been spotted as far south as Vanderbilt Beach in Collier County and as far north as Charlotte County.

In the past, Captains for Clean Water have blamed these red tide blooms on freshwater releases from Lake Okeechobee. The good news though: releases were reduced from 4,000 cubic feet per second to 3,000 CFS last Saturday.