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Fish kill in Martin County likely not due to red tide

Posted at 7:10 PM, Oct 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-30 19:10:25-04

As St. Lucie County reopened all of their beaches Tuesday, there was a concern that perhaps red tide had returned in Martin County after pictures of a fish kill were shared on social media.

There was a big batch of baitfish found just to the north of Bathtub Beach.  But was this the result of red tide?  The county says no.  There was a video of the fish struggling in a tidal pool.

“This happens naturally on occasion.  The timing with red tide makes it look like a guilty suspect but in this case, it just appears to be a tidal pool," said Martin County Ecosystem Manager John Maehl.

Nicki Campbell runs two and a half miles along the shore every day and did not notice any red tide symptoms.

“No problem breathing.  I saw maybe two dead fish along the way.  It’s just beautiful out here," said Campbell.

The county says it will clean up any fish it sees on its beaches.

Water samples collected back on October 25 by the state did find moderate levels of red tide around Bathtub Beach.