Published: Oct 15, 2011 2:21 AM EDT
Updated: Oct 15, 2011 4:29 AM EDT

Red tide results are out from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and the bacteria first detected near Sarasota is now off the shores of Charlotte and Lee counties.  Good news is, no dead fish have been reported along the Caloosahatchee River and in most of Lee County but samples have been collected on Pine Island, Charlotte Harbor and Boca Grande Pass.

Norm Zeigler owns a fly shop on Sanibel Island and knows to keep an eye on red tide.

"I have big concerns about the red tide as I have for a number of years," said Zeigler.

Information released Friday shows a red tide bloom with up to medium concentrations off Pine Island and Charlotte Harbor Sound.  The highest concentrations are in samples between nine and 14 miles west of Boca Grande Pass in Lee County.

A photo of a raft of dead fish was taken Friday nine miles northwest of RedFish Pass.  That pass separates Captiva and North Captiva.  Dr. Bruce Neill with Sanibel Sea School collects samples once a week and believes this latest bloom is moving along.

"From last Friday to this Friday, it has moved southwest and so it does seem to be moving in a direction away from the islands," said Neill

Widespread fish kills both onshore and offshore have been reported in the Englewood area of Charlotte County and Boca Grande.  Where it goes all depends on where the wind blows.

"At the very moment it seems like its predominately an offshore phenomenon," said Neill.

"That is a little close for comfort.  I understand that we're supposed to get some north and northwest winds and maybe that will help to stir things up a bit," said Zeigler.

The thing about Red Tide is you cant always see it.  On the shores of Sanibel Island, the water is clear.  However that's a different story less than 10 miles off shore.

"The water has a discoloration to it and it seems to be very intense but that doesn't mean that its very big and destructive," said Neill.

Red tide is a neurotoxin that kills the fish but just because it's killed some fish, doesn't mean it's killing them all.


"I think that we get the concept that oh my word the Gulf of Mexico is alive with red tide and its becoming one big dead zone.  Its not at all.  Its a very heterogeneous thing," said Neill.

To track red tide, visit