A red tide bloom that has been detected in coastal areas from southern Pinellas to Collier counties has eased its grip on Tampa Bay, officials say.
"Around Pinellas, we're seeing background concentrations, which are normal," said Alina Corcoran, a research scientist with the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, the research arm of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Over the weekend, bay regions of southern Pinellas were expected to experience low concentrations of red tide through Monday, according to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, commonly known as NOAA. More significant concentrations have been registering in counties farther south, with red tide reported as far south as the Keys.
In large concentrations, ride tide, or karenia brevis, can cause respiratory irritation as well as fish kills.
Respiratory impacts have been reported in Sarasota, Charlotte, and Collier counties, according to NOAA officials. Dead fish have been washing up on beaches in Sarasota and Charlotte counties over the past several days.
The current bloom was discovered last fall and at point spanned more than 100 kilometers, Corcoran said.
While Tampa Bay appears to be in the clear, shifting winds can change that in a matter of hours. Report fish kills by calling (800) 636-0511 or on the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute's Facebook page, Facebook.com/flhabs.