Red tide recedes in most of Bay County

Bay County

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Sneezing, dead fish on shore, allergies in pets: these are some various symptoms beachgoers may have experienced in the past few months in our area due to the red tide.

However, those may be symptoms of the past for most Bay County residents.

Red tide is receding in the county, according to environmental supervisor Joe Scully.

“The northerly winds have certainly helped push it offshore, and that has helped make it a lot better for our residents,” Scully said.

Scully said he believes the decrease in red tide numbers in the area is typically weather and time-dependent.

“Typically this time of year— towards the end of November— we see it’s just starting to be pushed out and then we’re good again until June,” Scully said.

Although Bay County has seen red tide clearing up, it’s a different story over in southern Gulf County.

“For us in Bay County, our levels have been either background or not present to background levels… zero to 1,000 cell count,” Scully said. “But further to our east over in Gulf County, they still do have higher levels over there.”

Scully said it’s hard to tell if the red tide will make a strong comeback in Bay County in 2021, but he’s hopeful.

“Red tide’s gonna do what it wants to do, but we’re certainly hopeful,” Scully said. “The indications are that it is moving offshore, the sampling results are showing that… So we’re hopeful that it does stay gone.”

No matter where you are on the Gulf Coast, Scully said you can keep an eye out for red tide levels on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s interactive map that shows red tide reports.

The map is updated at 4 p.m. Central every day.

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