Red tide blooms in Tampa Bay, fish die at Fort DeSoto and Tampa Bay Watch cancels the Great Bay Scallop Search

Knowing it was gonna happen doesn't make it suck less.

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click to enlarge The least you need to know: No dot is a good dot. - Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
The least you need to know: No dot is a good dot.

It's a bad day to be a fish in Tampa Bay. Or a manatee, or dolphin, scallop, fisherman or... well, you know what, it's just the suck, because red tide has made its way to local waters.

We knew it would happen. We hoped it wouldn't, we thought maybe we didn't really know it would happen, but deep down, we knew we knew it would happen.

We just didn't know when.

A local tow boat captain reported seeing low levels of dead fish on Wednesday, Aug. 22 but had hoped he was seeing bait fish left behind.

By Thursday morning, it was clear: Karenia brevis, aka red tide, has bloomed in Tampa Bay. 

Tampa Bay Watch cancelled Saturday's Great Bay Scallop Search:

"Unfortunately, the 2018 Great Bay Scallop Search on Saturday, August 25 has been cancelled due to monitoring results on August 21 of low levels of red tide at Fort De Soto Park and moderate levels at Egmont Key. There are trending SW winds which may increase the level of red tide in the bay by the end of the week. Our number one concern is the health and safety of our volunteers, so we have cancelled this year's event. It will not be rescheduled, but we hope to see you at the 2019 event," Tampa Bay Watch wrote in an email Wednesday night.

There's not a whole lot more to say, except that you can monitor the situation — which isn't even supposed to be a situation, FFS, red tide isn't supposed to happen in the summer, but whatever, climate change isn't a thing — with FWC's weekly red tide report here. If you want more info on red tide resources, check out Mote Marine Laboratory and Pinellas County's websites.

About The Author

Cathy Salustri

Cathy's portfolio includes pieces for Visit Florida, USA Today and regional and local press. In 2016, UPF published Backroads of Paradise, her travel narrative about retracing the WPA-era Florida driving tours that was featured in The New York Times. Cathy speaks about Florida history for the Osher Lifelong Learning...
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