MAN! I lot has happened with water quality since our posting last Friday. The big news this week was the massive amounts of dead fish from a red tide that is covering the entire panhandle. Let’s get to the notes.
First, with the heavy rains from the remnants of Hurricane Patricia that came across the Gulf Coast you would expect a lot of runoff, a lot of nutrients, possible low dissolved oxygen levels, and high bacteria counts… hence a lot of health advisories issued. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection did not post any data this week. I am not sure if they did not sample or they have not completed their analysis yet – but there were no updates. The Escambia County Department of Health did sample and issued a POOR rating for all three bayous as well as Big Lagoon. This indicates that their samples showed more than 104 colonies / ml of sample and HEALTHY ADVISORIES were issued for the three bayous.
Second, I first heard of a report of a single dead fish near Deer Point earlier in the week. I told the caller that it could be from the recent rainfall but that a red tide had been lingering off of Panama City and Port St. Joe for a few weeks now… the recent storm may have moved the red tide westward…. Then the big fish kill a few days ago. Thousands of dead fish washed ashore from Panama City to Pensacola. Most were bottom dwelling species and included the lionfish. The suspect was red tide and we had to wait for FWC data to confirm. Here is FWC’s RED TIDE report for this week.
High concentrations were detected inshore and offshore in the following counties
Panhandle – Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf
SW FL – Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee
Background concentrations were detected inshore and offshore in the following counties
Panhandle – Escambia
SW FL – Pasco
Low concentrations were detected inshore and offshore in the following counties
Samples were collected but no Karenia were detected in the following counties
Panhandle – Franklin
Big Bend – Dixie, Hernando
FISH KILLS for Escambia and Santa Rosa counties
FWC received reports of fish kills from Navarre Beach to Pensacola Beach.
~ 750 dead fish were reported (we know there were more)
Species reported included snapper, grouper, grunt, hake, cusk eels, midshipman, cowfish, trigger fish, lionfish and even a tuna. There were reports of dead bait fish in the East River and bass from the Dune Lakes in Walton County. Many dead fish were not identified.
Just to let all know – as I was leaving Galveston TX yesterday the state closed all oyster harvesting in Texas waters other than Galveston Bay due to a red tide generated near Padre Island… appears to be red tide covering a significant portion of the U.S. Gulf Coast.
IF YOU ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH RED TIDE AND WOULD LIKE TO LEARN MORE WE HAVE POSTED A SHORT ARTICLE ON OUR WEBSITE
Do not know if UWF survey for lionfish inshore this weekend.
There has been concern about cases of Vibrio infection. We have posted an article about this bacteria which you can find at https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2015/07/10/what-you-need-to-know-about-vibrio-bacteria-in-gulf-waters/
Health Advisories – 7 reported for October
Fish Kills – ~ 750 for October
Red Tide – large almost Gulf wide event last week of October
Inshore Lionfish – none for October
Here are the numbers…
Oct 27, 2015
Body of Water Temp (F) Salinity (ppt) DO (mg/L) ENT ECHD
Floridatown no data
Blackwater River no data
Bayou Texar no data POOR
Bayou Chico no data POOR
Bayou Grande no data POOR
Lower Perdido Bay no data POOR
Upper Perdido Bay no data
Wayside Gulf Breeze no data
HIGH SCHOOL DATA – FOR OCTOBER
Washington High sampled Texar on Oct 14.
Station DO (mg/L) TN (ppm) TP (ppm) Chlorophyll a (ppm)
Bridge 5.9 600 90 1.2
Road 7.7 200 120 11.4
Boat Ramp 8.3 100 0 12.7
Park 8.6 200 120 15.9
West Florida sampled Upper Perdido Bay – no report so far this semester
Escambia High – no report at this time
ENT – Enterococcus bacteria; an individual sample should not be more than 104 colonies / 100ml
Fecal Coliform – an individual sample should not be more than 800 colonies / 100ml of sample
DO – dissolved oxygen should be 3.0 mg/L or higher
ECHD – Escambia County Health Department (Enterococcus bacteria)
Good 0 – 35 colonies / 100ml
Moderate 36 – 104 colonies / 100ml
Poor +104 colonies / 100ml
FDEP – Florida Department of Environmental Protection
For more information on local water visit: