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Red tide recovery: redfish releases in Lee, Charlotte, Collier counties

Posted: 9:00 AM, Mar 12, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-12 13:06:27Z

ST. JAMES CITY, Fla. — Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is partnering with organizations to replenish fish in Southwest Florida that were wiped out by red tide.

Tuesday they’ll release 2,000 redfish at Tropical Point Park in St. James City. By the end of the month they’ll release more than 6,000 redfish in Lee, Collier and Charlotte Counties.

FWC is working with Coastal Conservation Association and Duke Energy for the releases. Duke Mariculture Center in Crystal River donated the fish for Southwest Florida waters.

They’ve already released more than 10,000 juvenile and adult redfish in February in Pasco, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Sarasota and Manatee Counties.

Bob Forster fishes pretty frequently in St. James City and he said fishing here just hasn’t been the same since red tide hit.

"I think that’s great. To be honest with you, the fishing has not been that great around here. Especially in this area," he said. "I’ve been coming here for about 16 years and lately there’s hardly any fish here. It’s scary."

The next release is Friday. Partners will release 2,000 redfish at Shell Island Boat Launch in Naples. And the next release will happen next Tuesday at Ponce de Leon Park in Charlotte County.