You can help scientists monitor red tide in SWFL by reporting fish kills

Published: November 23, 2022 4:59 PM EST
Updated: November 23, 2022 5:30 PM EST

With red tide blooming along the Southwest Florida coast, you may wonder if there is anything you can do to help, and it turns out you can.

Currently, our coast is experiencing varying levels of red tide.  Yellow means low concentrations, orange is medium, and red is high.

Many of the samples taken around Captiva island came back with medium concentrations.

“So I think with red tide, there are several things that the public could help with number one, reporting fish kills, there’s a fish kill hotline, I think, helping to volunteer to collect samples when there’s gaps in the data. The public is our eyes and ears out on the water. So I think just reporting if they see something strange if they see fish kills would be really helpful,” said Mike Parsons, a professor of marine science in the Water School at FGCU.

If you see a diseased or dead fish, let Florida Fish and Wildlife know. You can report it on the FWC reporter app, on the web here, or by calling 1-800-636-0511.

You can let them know the location, GPS coordinates are ideal, but any information you can provide is helpful. They also ask that you report the number of fish involved and what species they are if you can identify them.

You can leave your phone number or email so FWC can reach out if they have more questions.

Each year 2,000 people submit records of fish kills and diseases. The information from these citizen scientists helps FWC recognize the causes, patterns, and occurrences of red tide. It also helps them respond appropriately.