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Red Tide-related limits extended for some fishing in Tampa Bay

Redfish, snook and trout will stay catch-and-release only through Oct. 11.
Dead fish are skimmed from the surface of the Intracoastal Waterway near Treasure Island in late July.
Dead fish are skimmed from the surface of the Intracoastal Waterway near Treasure Island in late July. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published Aug. 10
Updated Aug. 10

Anglers will have to release snook, redfish and spotted seatrout they catch in Tampa Bay through Oct. 11, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced Tuesday. The order extends a Red Tide-related partial closure that had been in place through Sept. 16.

The snook fishery has been under a seasonal closure for much of the summer.

Related: Amid Red Tide, Tampa Bay’s snook, redfish and trout fishing restricted again

The three species are favorites for inshore anglers. The fisheries were previously limited after a bad Red Tide bloom in 2018. The closure is meant to protect populations after weeks of fish kills from the toxic algae this summer.

The catch-and-release order covers most waters of Pinellas and Hillsborough counties and north of State Road 64 in Manatee County, according to the state.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has limited snook, redfish and spotted seatrout fishing to catch-and-release only in Tampa Bay waters starting Friday through Sept. 16. Here is a map of the restricted area.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has limited snook, redfish and spotted seatrout fishing to catch-and-release only in Tampa Bay waters starting Friday through Sept. 16. Here is a map of the restricted area. [ Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission ]

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Red Tide coverage

Tampa Bay has Red Tide questions. Here are some answers.

Is it safe to eat seafood? Here’s how Red Tide affects what you eat.

Can I go fishing? The state is limiting saltwater fishing.

Piney Point: The environmental disaster may be fueling Red Tide.

Red Tide resources

• The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has a website that tracks where Red Tide is detected.

• Florida Poison Control Centers have a toll-free 24/7 hotline to report illnesses, including from exposure to Red Tide: 1-800-222-1222

• To report dead fish for clean-up in Tampa Bay, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-800-636-0511 or file a fish kill report online.

• In St. Petersburg, call the Mayor’s Action Center at 727-893-7111 or use St. Petersburg’s seeclickfix website.

• Visit St. Pete/Clearwater, the county’s tourism wing, runs an online beach dashboard at www.beachesupdate.com.

How to stay safe near the water

• Do not swim around dead fish.

• Those with chronic respiratory problems should be careful and stay away from places with a Red Tide bloom. Leave if you think Red Tide is affecting you.

• Do not harvest or eat mollusks or distressed and dead fish from the area. Fillets of healthy fish should be rised with clean water, and the guts thrown out.

• Pet owners should keep their animals away from the water and from dead fish.

• Residents living near the beach should close their windows and run air conditioners with proper filters.

• Beachgoers can protect themselves by wearing masks.

Source: Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County