Collier County testing red tide as cause for recent fish kills

People in Collier County are beginning to see an all-too familiar sight along beaches, as traces of red tide may be starting to have an effect.

Dead fish are washing up on beaches in Collier County, and the culprit is likely red tide.

The county said it will be out testing the current conditions to determine the cause of dead sea life, while monitoring the winds and how they shift over the next several days. The next sample results are expected back Tuesday.

“We just took a long walk all the way down Barefoot Beach and we saw a lot of dead fish along the way,” Daniela Catricala said.

Throughout beaches in Collier County, dead fish have washed ashore. From Barefoot Beach Preserve to Gordon Pass, red tide is the main focus for the cause of dead fish seen along .

“We’ve been out and about at beaches throughout the East Coast,” Tony Catricala said. “And it’s not terribly uncommon to see one or two, but you see quite a few more here sometimes”

The Catricala family says they’ve spent time on a couple different beaches the past several days. And they say they have felt some physical effects such as coughing.

Even though there is no smell, the county said people with asthma or emphysema can experience issues.

Dave Drumgoole knows about these potential health problems related to red tide, but he said he is more optimistic compared to previous epidemics related to water quality in Southwest Florida.

“I’ve got out of the car and started choking and coughing and everything like that red tide to turn around and go back,” Drumgoole said. “Right now, it doesn’t concern me. I think they’ve been doing a great job environmentally.”

Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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