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Red tide closes St. Lucie, Indian River county beaches

Posted at 11:16 AM, Oct 22, 2018

Swimmers who want to head to the beach are finding fewer options on the Treasure Coast on Monday.

St. Lucie County beaches on North Hutchinson Island, including Fort Pierce Inlet State Park and Avalon Beach, are closed because of complications from red tide.

Those same conditions have caused Round Island Beach Park in Indian River County to be closed again. In fact, access to beaches in Indian River County, and Vero Beach will be closed until further notice, according to the county.

Along the Indian River, Brian Killday is taking water samples.

Killday is a chemist who lives along the water, and plans to send these samples to fellow scientists.

“It’s devastating.  I was on the beach at Round Island Park yesterday and there’s dead fish all over," said Killday.

Monday, Round Island was closed due to red tide.  It had been the last beach to remain open in Indian River County. Dead fish still litter the sand.

Meanwhile, bobcats thunder through Indian River Shores, taking the mixture of dead fish and seaweed, and moving it into large lined dumpsters.

Indian River Shores Police Chief Rich Rosell said he and his officers estimated at one point about 60-thousand fish lined the beach.

“We’re about a week out of it right now and it’s starting to get better.  I know you were coughing as you got out of the car, I don’t cough anymore, I’m used to it," said Chief Rosell.

While the beaches are closed, other waterfront parks remain open.  Jim Goughler pointed out that while there’s plenty of bait fish around, red tide could really put a crimp in his fishing.

“If I did it for a living, yes.  My son does it on and off part time for a living.  But right now he can’t make ends meet because of it.”