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Clusters of dead fish spotted in Sanibel canal

Posted at 12:40 AM, Jan 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-06 00:41:18-05

SANIBEL, Fla. — As red tide patches linger up and down the Southwest Florida coast, rows of dead fish suspected to be related to red tide are not just appearing at beaches but also in canals.

People living along Lighthouse Way in Sanibel say they woke up Tuesday morning to find hundreds of dead fish in the canal.

The canal is between Lighthouse Way and N. Yachtsman Drive.

While it’s not uncommon when red tide blooms are near-by, they hope this is as bad as it gets.

“Yesterday we had a few, but today we have a lot,” said Michael McGinn.

“We saw it two years ago, I believe it was 2018, it was much worse than it is now, but as you can see, it’s not very good today.”

Michael McGinn says this is the worse it’s been since 2018.

He’s been living along the canal for about three years…

“I think the smell is bad, but when you walk out to your dock, and you see all of these dead fish that were living yesterday and swimming along just fine and then all of a sudden you see this, it’s just very upsetting,” said McGinn.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's latest red tide map shows a medium concentration of red-tide near Lighthouse Point on Sanibel.

McGinn hopes this doesn’t lead to history repeating itself.

“I think it’s the economy, the future, whether or not it’s tourism or restaurants, but I’m concerned for our area and livelihood,” said McGinn.

McGinn says the fish will remain here until they sink to the bottom or wash away.

The Florida Department of Health recommends people don't swim around dead fish and keep pets away from dead sea life.