Dec. 5, 2018 – SARASOTA (WWSB) – Another wave of red tide has hit the Palma Sola Causeway, leaving tons of dead fish along the shoreline. This fish kill is a little different, most of the fish this time are catfish.
Local Charter Captain, Scott Moore, said a school of catfish must have got trapped in the red tide so that’s why so many lined this shoreline. Although the City of Bradenton had people cleaning up the fish Tuesday afternoon, there are still dead fish piled on the shoreline.
“This is the most that I’ve ever seen in catfish. Never seen it this bad. Really on a shoreline, no. You’ll see them scattered along with the other fish, but this is phenomenal what I saw today,” Captain Moore said.
Moore said dead catfish laying around can be dangerous, “Some of these are hardheads and some of these are sailcats and they have spines that are pretty big, so you don’t want to be walking on this beach until they get it cleaned up.”
Local business owner, Richard Unsworth, said Tuesday’s conditions stopped him from going paddle boarding on the water.
But on top of that, he is still seeing effects from the red tide on his paddle board and kayak rental business, Northern Paddle.
“It’s impacted my business as it has shut down my sales completely for the entire summer. We just hope it’ll dissipate over the winter and we’ll see what will happen next year. But I think there will be some carryover effects with tourism,” said Unsworth.
He said the days he has been able to paddle board on the Palma Sola Bay, he has seen a decrease in marine life.
“The crabs have disappeared. When I paddle, I can see down in the water and I can see the fish have been impacted, the manatee, the lack of dolphins,” Unsworth said.
The City of Bradenton used its public works staff to rake up the fish and placed them in a designated red tide dumpster. Manatee county officials said they plan to put a volunteer group together for Wednesday to help cleanup.