Red Tide Current Status

FWC reports on the current status of Karenia brevis blooms using tables, static maps, and interactive Google Earth maps. Archived status maps can be found in our Flickr gallery.

Midweek Red Tide Update (November 30, 2016)

A bloom of the Florida red tide organism, Karenia brevis, persists in Southwest Florida from southern Pinellas to Lee County, with patches observed in Collier and northern Monroe counties.

Karenia brevis was observed in very low to low concentrations in five samples collected from Pinellas County; low concentrations in one sample collected from Hillsborough County; low to medium concentrations in seven samples collected from Manatee County; medium to high concentrations in four samples collected from Sarasota County; high concentrations in three samples collected from Charlotte County; background to high concentrations in twelve samples collected from Lee County; background to low concentrations in two samples collected from Collier County; and very low concentrations in one sample collected from Monroe County. 

Additional samples collected throughout Florida over the past week did not contain K. brevis.

Fish kills affecting multiple species have been reported along Pinellas, Charlotte, Lee, and Collier counties over the past week. Respiratory irritation has also been reported in some areas of Sarasota and Lee counties.  Forecasts for Southwest Florida by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides show net southern movement of offshore surface waters, net northern movement of inshore surface waters, and onshore, southern movement of subsurface waters between southern Pinellas and northern Monroe counties over the next 3 days.

Midweek Red Tide Update Map (November 30, 2016)
Midweek Red Tide Status Update Map November 30, 2016
View a larger map Adobe PDF (November 23, 2016)

Red Tide Status (November 23, 2016)

A bloom of the Florida red tide organism, Karenia brevis, persists in Southwest Florida from southern Pinellas to northern Monroe County.

Karenia brevis was observed in very low to low concentrations in five samples collected from Pinellas County; low concentrations in one sample collected from Hillsborough County; background to medium concentrations in seven samples collected from Manatee County; medium to high concentrations in ten samples collected from Sarasota County; medium to high concentrations in nineteen samples collected from Charlotte County; background to high concentrations in sixteen samples collected from Lee County; background to very low concentrations in nine samples collected from Collier County; and very low to medium concentrations in seven samples collected from Monroe County. 

Additional samples collected throughout Florida over the past week did not contain K. brevis.

Fish kills affecting multiple species have been reported along Pinellas, Charlotte, Lee, Collier, and northern Monroe counties over the past week. Slight respiratory irritation has also been reported in some areas of Sarasota and Lee counties.  Forecasts for Southwest Florida by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides show net southern movement of surface waters, and southern, onshore movement of subsurface waters between southern Pinellas and northern Monroe counties over the next 3 days.

Red Tide Status Map (November 23, 2016)

Statewide red tide counts November 15 - 22, 2016

View a larger map Adobe PDF (November 23, 2016)

Regional Status Reports and Maps Adobe PDF (November 23, 2016)

Southwest coast report and map
East coast report and map
Northwest coast report and map

To see detailed information on this week's samples, view the current Statewide Google Earth map for November 23, 2016.

By using Google Earth, you can zoom in to specific locations and click on stations to see detailed information, including sample date and cell concentration. You must have Google Earth installed on your computer to view this map; the software can be downloaded from the Google Earth website. External Website

The FWRI Red Tide Status Line is now available to callers throughout the state. FWRI updates the recording each Friday by 5 p.m. Red Tide Status Line: 866-300-9399 (toll-free inside Florida only); 727-552-2448 (outside Florida).

Reports are updated on Friday afternoon except during holidays, in which case the report will be released on the closest day. Additional information, if available, is provided on Wednesday afternoon. To receive an e-mail when the current status has been updated, visit our subscription area.

FWC's Red Tide Action Report

Red tide is a naturally-occurring microscopic alga that has been documented along Florida’s Gulf Coast since the 1840’s and occurs nearly every year. Blooms, or higher-than-normal concentrations, of the Florida red tide alga, Karenia brevis, frequently occur in the Gulf of Mexico at this time of year (late summer or early fall). Red tide begins in the Gulf of Mexico 10 to 40 miles offshore and can be transported inshore by winds and currents.

FWC Actions and Partnerships:

  • FWC operates the toll-free fish kill hotline. To report fish kills, contact the FWC Fish Kill Hotline at 800-636-0511 or submit a report online. Reports from this hotline help FWC researchers track and better understand the impact of red tide in Florida.
  • FWC remains available to local agencies and partners in affected areas, including area business and tourism groups in southwest Florida. Any local agency or group that has any questions or concerns can contact Kelly Richmond from the FWC at 727-502-4784.
  • FWC continues to partner with the Florida Department of Health to advise residents and visitors of any potential health impacts. Residents and visitors can contact the DOH’s aquatic toxin experts at 850-245-4250 or contact their local health department for any concern about health safety.
  • FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and Mote Marine Laboratory work together to monitor Karenia brevis. This cooperative effort is designed to help mitigate the adverse impacts of red tide. This joint research program that includes red tide monitoring, research and public outreach and education has resulted in better tools and ongoing monitoring for red tides along the Gulf Coast.
  • In partnership with the FWC, the Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides (CPR) at the University of South Florida offer a new Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) tracking tool that generates a 3.5-day forecast of the bloom trajectories.
  • To protect public health, FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute’s Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) group closely monitors the status of K. brevis on Florida’s coasts, providing technical support to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), the agency that regulates approved shellfish harvesting areas.  
  • Since 2000, FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute established a Red Tide Offshore Monitoring Program, which is a volunteer program for citizens to help collect water samples from routine collection points and sites reported for suspected harmful algal blooms (HABs).The timely sampling by volunteers allows researchers to provide an early warning of offshore algal blooms and investigate reported events as they occur. The Program needs volunteers to collect samples from all coastal Florida counties. To view more information visit, Red Tide Offshore Monitoring Program or use the Volunteer SignUp Form.

Red Tide Resources

Previous Regional Status Reports and Maps

November 18, 2016
Southwest coast report and map
East coast report and map
Northwest coast report and map
Google Earth map

November 10, 2016
Southwest coast report and map
East coast report and map
Northwest coast report and map
Google Earth map

November 4, 2016
Southwest coast report and map
East coast report and map
Northwest coast report and map
Google Earth map

Additional archived status maps can be found on Flickr

Key for Results

Description Karenia brevis cells/liter Possible Effects (K. brevis only)
NOT PRESENT - BACKGROUND background levels of 1,000 cells or less None anticipated
VERY LOW >1,000 to 10,000 Possible respiratory irritation; shellfish harvesting closures >  5,000 cells/L
LOW >10,000 to 100,000 Respiratory irritation, possible fish kills and bloom chlorophyll probably detected by satellites at upper limits
MEDIUM >100,000 to 1,000,000 Respiratory irritation and probable fish kills
HIGH >1,000,000

As above plus discoloration


Hotlines and Information Sources



FWC Facts:
Red Tide Offshore Monitoring Volunteer Program boat captains sample offshore waters for potential red tide blooms. They also track ongoing blooms to aid researchers.

Learn More at AskFWC