Dead fish have been spotted all over SWFL beaches this week. The reason? Red Tide causes an overgrowth of nutrients in the water that takes up all the oxygen the fish need to survive. So, the fish just suffocate to death and wash ashore.
That’s what is happening along a lot of our SWFL beaches the past few days. Reports of dead fish have been made in Big Carlos Pass. Big Hickory Island, Bonita Beach, Fort Myers Beach, Pine Island Sound, Carlos Point, Bunche Beach, Barefoot Beach, Red Bay Bank, Lovers Key State Park, Causeway Islands, and Bowman’s Beach.
Red Tide is a natural process that occurs regularly in SWFL but is made more intense with runoff from the rain that carries extra nutrients into the water, like fertilizer from golf courses. Humans may experience respiratory irritation or eye irritation with the increased bacteria in the water according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation.
SWFL beaches are still crowded in spite of the Red Tide and dead fish, but it may be best to wait for this one out. Red Tides can persist for days, weeks or months at a time and it is difficult to predict, but you can visit myfwc.com to check on the current red tide status in your area.