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Crews continue dead fish clean-up on beaches

Posted at 7:13 PM, Aug 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-02 19:13:30-04

Crews have been hard at work cleaning up the dead fish killed by red tide along the beaches, and on Thursday, Fort Myers Beach looked better than it had in days. 

"Today is as close to a normal day as we've had in probably a week," said Jim Smith, who said he has come to the beach every day for the past twelve. 

"People are still coughing and stuff, but they've been doing a good job of keeping it clean," added Patrick Williams, visiting from New Jersey.

Lee County has also placed six dumpsters for residents to dump dead fish that have washed up near their homes. The dumpsters are located at key beach access points: Lynn Hall Memorial Beach Park, Crescent Beach Family Park and Bowditch Point Beach Park, all in Fort Myers Beach. There are also dumpsters for red tide fish at the 7th Street Beach Access in Boca Grande, Causeway Islands in Sanibel, and Bonita Beach Access #10.

But the rancid smell coming from at least one of the dumpsters - in the parking lot for Lynn Hall Memorial Beach Park near the Fort Myers Beach Pier - has some wondering why it's located in such a heavily-used area.

"It's just extremely pungent," said Kimberly Florine of Cape Coral. "I would definitely compare it to running over a dead skunk, and just that horrific odor."

A Lee County spokesman told Fox 4 that the dumpsters are removed daily - more often if they fill up.

Florine thinks the smell should be reason enough to change them more often than once a day.

"However many times you have to do it, but you can't let that stuff sit there like that," she said.

Lee County urges residents to double-bag any dead fish left in their regular trash. Double-bagging could also be done at the designated dead fish dumpsters to cut down on the smell.