Wink News

November 18, 2016

Residents question red tide, dead fish in Matlacha

Michelle Kingston


MATLACHA, Fla. ó The stench of dead fish still lingers in the waters of Matlacha.

But some people are wondering whether the toxic algae is to blame for the dead fish near the bridge.

A map released by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shows concentrations of red tide in the area, but Bryan Stockbridge, owner of Gulf Coast Kayak, is suspicious.

ďThis to me looks like a spill or a very concentrated case of fish kill,Ē he said.

The dead fish, a little bait fish locals call pinfish, are located in one spot on one side of the bridge. Stockbridge thinks thatís unusual.

Plus he hasnít been experiencing the cough red tide can cause.

ďIíve seen red tide. Iíve experienced the respiratory issues. Itís not fun to be around, but you know very quickly if youíre around red tide,Ē Stockbridge said, adding that he didnít think the dead fish were from red tide at all.

There were reports of troubled breathing in the area Thursday.