With all the media coverage and attention for Red Tide, it is important to narrow down the facts for Anna Maria Island specifically. We are keeping a close eye on it every day, as the status of it can change often. Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission provides the most accurate information through a daily updated map on the concentration levels around the state and area. There is even a map updated by eye witness reports, visitbeaches.org.
What is Red Tide?
A “red tide”, or harmful algal bloom, is a higher-than-normal concentration of a microscopic alga (plantlike organism) in the water. In Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, the species that causes most red tides is Karenia brevis, often abbreviated as K. brevis.
What You Need to Know About Red Tide
The beaches on Anna Maria Island are clean, clear, and as beautiful as ever. Very high concentrations of alga are present to the north and south of Anna Maria Island. However, as of right now Anna Maria Island is spared the worst of this current alga bloom. Upon arrival, you will see swimmers and beachgoers enjoying the sand, water, and sunshine on both the Gulf and bayside!
The Consequences of Red Tide
Enjoying the views of Rod N Reel or City Pier and see a dead fish? We will not deny the fact that on certain tides and windy days, you may see a dead fish or two in the current. These fish are from areas other than those near Anna Maria and have made their way here due to the tides or current weather conditions. It does not affect your experience, and by no means will you see this in any significant volumes.
After weeks of the St. Petersburg area suffering from this, some fish may begin to float in with our summer west winds. Right now, there are very minor instances of some coming to shore, but no levels that would or should cause concern or disappointment.
Despite areas to the north and south of Anna Maria Island seeing higher levels of Red Tide, we currently do not see these same levels locally. Sometimes will you see a dead fish or two floating by or washed ashore from these areas? Yes. Should you let this damper your vacation? Absolutely not. Be sure to keep up to date with FWC’s site and daily live maps of concentration levels. Relying on social media outlets and news for this information can be discouraging, be sure to look for the facts from Florida Fish and Wildlife and be sure to keep up to date with our Facebook page and website for daily and weekly updates as well.
On Facebook, look out for daily videos and picture updates, find them on our page “Anna Maria Island Vacation Travel”
During blooms, daily beach outlook updates can be found here: https://www.islandreal.com/beach-condition-updates
Read more about FAQs about Red Tide answered by the State of Florida