Red tide temporarily closes several Hillsborough County beaches

Hillsborough County has temporarily closed Picnic Island Beach, Picnic Island Beach Dog Park, Davis Island Beach, Apollo Beach Nature Preserve beaches and E.G. Simmons Conservation Park because of public health concerns due to red tide.

County leaders say water samples have shown the presence of red tide at various locations throughout Tampa Bay, and numerous dead fish have washed up along the shoreline.

Officials say while the beach areas are closed, the rest of the E.G. Simmons Conservation Park and the Apollo Beach Nature Preserve will be open except for the hiking trail that leads out to the beach. 

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s red tide map shows high concentrations of the microorganism that causes red tide blooms in the waters of Hillsborough Bay and Tampa Bay.

MORE: In one day, 9 tons of dead fish removed from St. Pete waters after red tide, Elsa

Bay Area experts say it’s early in the season to see such high concentrations of the algae, but officials with the Tampa Bay Estuary Program say that the levels of red tide are actually higher in the wake of Hurricane Elsa Tampa Bay.

County crews are working to remove the dead fish from the beaches. 

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