Red tide takes toll on tourism in Charlotte County

The smell of dead fish due to red tide is clogging up beaches in Charlotte County.

Medium concentrations of red tide, or Karenia brevis, is shown in the latest map from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in Charlotte County.

MORE: What causes red tide off the Southwest Florida coast?

Some local restaurant managers worry red tide could effect their business during the busiest time of the year.

Red tide map as of Dec. 22 from the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission

“It will choke you up, make guests cough. You feel like you need to drink water. It’s a little scratchy irritating feeling,” SandBar Tiki & Grille manager Rich Chaney said.

Chaney’s restaurant offers mostly outdoor seating, so red tide could scare away tourists from stopping there.

“When the winds blowing towards our direction from the water it will, yeah it, they feel like they want to sit inside,” Chaney said.

Other restaurants haven’t noticed any decrease in business due to red tide.

“We’ve been pretty busy, even so with the red tide … big sales,” said Ceara Thiebes, Beach Co. associate.

While many dead fish washed ashore in Englewood Monday, one park ranger believes it’s getting better as no new dead fish were seen Tuesday morning.

MORE: Red tide washes dead fish ashore on Stump Pass Beach in Englewood

Medium concentrations of the algae were also found in Collier County, according to the  FWC.

For the latest red tide information, click here. 

MORE: High concentrations of red tide blooming in Lee County

Reporter:Kristi Gross
SHARE