Red tide is drifting north along Pinellas beaches and increasing in Manatee and Sarasota counties
Red tide is now affecting beaches along the central Pinellas coast. Winds from the south are expected to continue pushing the blooms northward.
State environmental officials say red tide has drifted as far north as Sand Key, just south of Clearwater Beach. And high concentrations of the toxin are being reported in Treasure Island and Long Bayou, on the north side of St. Pete Beach.
READ MORE: What red tide could mean for spring break across the Tampa Bay area
High concentrations are also being reported in Longboat Pass in Manatee County and New Pass in Sarasota Bay. Medium concentrations are being found along all local beaches from Sand Key to south of Venice.
Fish kills and respiratory irritation suspected to be related to red tide have been reported in Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota counties.
Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides for Pinellas County to northern Monroe County predict net northern movement of surface waters and net northwestern transport of subsurface waters in most areas over the next 3 1/2 days.