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Bonita Springs fisherman finds dead Manatee on oyster bar

Posted at 10:46 PM, Nov 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-15 13:21:10-05

John Gauntt was fishing in Hendry Creek around 10:30 this morning when he spotted a dead manatee laying on an oyster bar. Gauntt brought the mammal back by using his rope and boat; he met local marine biologists at Key Lovers State Park. 

John says the marine biologists told him "red tide likely killed the manatee" and "red tide can affect marine mammals up to nine months after the bloom is gone."

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Gauntt told FOX 4 it took him an hour to bring the mammal to shore.

Local fisherman, Billy Norris doesn't think red tide is in the past. He says, "it's better, but it's not gone."

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission updated their red tide report today. "Fish reports were received for multiple locations" the website reads. "Pinellas, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties and in and offshore of Charlotte County. 

John says he's going to help solve this environmental issue by staying clean with his boat, fuel, and oil. He also supports Salt Strong and Captains for Clean Water. He says they're organizations that push for clean water.