PASS-A-GRILLE (FOX 13) - Red tide algae is spreading, and now higher concentrations of the algae are reaching into Pinellas County.
Wednesday morning, a Mote Marine scientist said the lab's research had detected higher concentrations of red tide further north, near Madeira Beach. This afternoon's FWC update confirmed those findings.
The months-long algae bloom has sent dead fish, manatees, dolphins, and other sea creatures washing up on Manatee and Sarasota county beaches for weeks.
FWC's earlier recent red tide reports indicated the Karenia brevis algae was at "background" to "low" levels off Pinellas. As of Wednesday, a "medium" level of the algae was noted off Pinellas -- potentially high enough to cause respiratory irritation and fish kills.
"K. brevis was observed in Pinellas County for the third week in a row, with additional impacted sites (based on observations of cells and/or associated impacts) and higher cell concentrations observed relative to last week."
The report noted, though, that the bloom might have trouble moving any further north over the next few days.
Red tide FAQ: What is it, and where does it come from?
"Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides for Pinellas to northern Monroe counties predict net southern movement of surface waters and net southeastern transport of subsurface waters over the next three days," the update stated.
The next FWC update will be released Friday afternoon.