JUPITER, Fla. - Water samples are on their way to labs across the country to be tested for the same kind of toxic algae found on the Treasure Coast.
So far, the Health Department has said all is clear on the Jupiter Inlet, but scientists dipped bottles into the water on Thursday to take samples, after complaints that something seems fishy.
Fish tour captain Bill Taylor's getting used to the word, "grounded."
"We have missed six trips in the last week and a half, two weeks, that's $4,800," said Taylor, the head of the Black Dog Fishing company. "To me, that's a lot of money."
For weeks, the Jupiter Inlet District has heard similar complaints and rumors from Taylor and other business owners, that toxic algae has come sixteen miles south from the Treasure Coast and is chasing fish away.
"We're trying to get out in front of it, get ahead of the curve, and make sure that's not the case," said Inlet District executive director Mike Grella.
The district hired a scientist, who pulled four samples of water today.
"What we're going to test for is phosphorous and nitrogen," said Joe Chaison, of Taylor engineering. "Any chemicals that create toxic algae."
We asked Grella whether he had any reason to believe there was toxic algae in the Inlet.
"I honestly don't know," he answered. "I'm not a hydrodynamics kind of guy, but I think it's important that we find out."
Taylor says the water quality has seemed to clear up over the last few days, and that today's fishing was excellent.
But he says he wants to know for certain, so he doesn't have to apologize to customers anymore.
"If you know you can't catch somebody a fish, you owe it to say you can't take them out, or least tell me hey, it's not so good now, maybe we can go in a week or so," said Taylor.
Test results are expected in a week.
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