Small concentration of red tide washes into northwest Florida

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Many local beachgoers and anglers are seeing red. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, a low concentration of red tide has washed into our area.

The FWC releases red tide reports on Wednesdays and Fridays. Wednesday, in its midweek report it showed a low to very low concentration of an organism that causes red tide in northwest Florida.

They say this is the first time this year a bloom of karenia brevis has shown up in our area. They say the bloom was enough to cause a fish kill which some anglers and beachgoers have noticed on and offshore.

Some residents and visitors we spoke to said they aren't too worried about the red tide because of the small concentration, but they're still aware of the effects it can have if it gets worse.

James Pratt, a local fisherman said, "I understand how it can concern commercial fishermen, my father was a commercial fisherman for many, many years and it took a big chunk out of the business when red tide came."

Daniell Huggins, who was visiting Panama City Beach said, "There's a little scratchy throat situation going on and some of the people do eat their fish from out here so it could be a concern, especially for the little kids with asthma and stuff."

The FWC urges beachgoers and anglers to be mindful of red tide, no matter how small the concentration is.

They also say if anyone sees a fish kill or an area they believe red tide has affected, to call the FWC so they can mark the location and to report any respiratory problems to the Department of Health.

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