Red tide algae bloom is spreading northward and patches of it have been spotted in Manatee and Pinellas counties now.
Mote Marine Laboratory researches say calm winds and waves are minimizing impacts, but beachgoers have reported "slight respiratory irritation" and dead fish onshore Friday at Nokomis and Venice North Jetty beaches, according to Mote.
Medium amounts of karenia brevis—the organism responsible for red tide—has been collected in water samples on Siesta and Turtle Beaches, according to satellite images. Very low amounts have been collected in New Pass, Longboat Key Beach, the north point of Anna Maria Island and low amounts have been collected off of Redington Pier in Pinellas County.
Red tide has extended from Collier County through Sarasota County with patches in Manatee and Pinellas County, according to satellite images from University of South Florida and water samples taken by researchers.
Check for beach updates throughout this weekend at www.mote.org/beaches or by phone at 941-BEACHES.