Red tide blamed for massive fish kill at Robinson Preserve

Image 1 of 4

A massive cleanup is underway in Manatee County at the Robinson Preserve. Crews consider the effort an all-hands-on-deck emergency as they work non-stop to clean up the preserve, a popular spot in Manatee County where thousands of dead mullet have washed into the area because of red tide.

Manatee County's natural resources and ecological marine staff have been working to clean up the fish by going out on barges to pick them up by hand, and then filling up huge dumpsters.

“We will just try to get as much out of there to keep the water quality as good as we can so we don’t have a continuation of this,” said Damon Moore of Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources. 

The staff hopes to clean up the dead fish before the fish begin to decompose, reducing the smell for visitors and nearby residents. 

The preserve is made up of trails that lead to the water and also to homes. 

Crews will continue to clean up the fish Friday and possibly through the weekend, they say.

Crews say there have been fish kills before, but they've never seen anything like this during this time of year or to this extent.