The effects of red tide are making their way towards Southwest Florida beaches. In fact, dozens of dead fish have already washed ashore on Sanibel Island. The beach on Sanibel Island is littered with dead fish, crabs and shells - some of them victims of red tide. Others have been dead for a while and were washed up onto the beach by Monday's storm. And local experts we spoke to say more dead sea life could be headed this way. "It's really weird to see that much on the beach, really," said tourist Krystal Ferrell, who was on Sanibel Island Tuesday. "We found a lot of starfish and a lot of conch - some things that I guess you wouldn't normally see. She says those things really stink up the beach. "Too bad there's not smell-o-vision," said Dr. Bruce Neill, with the Sanibel Sea School.
But Sanibel is not alone in seeing the effects of red tide. More dead fish were reported belly up on Bonita Beach in Lee County, as well as Barefoot, Tigertail and Conner Park beaches in Collier County. Experts say that makes sense, given the latest satellite image of red tide taken Sunday. The red color on the map [shown to the right] indicates red tide. It's about 25 miles off-shore and about 40 miles long. "We will continue to see small pockets of red tide blooming very efficiently. These are very intensive population blooms of red tide that we're seeing and I would anticipate over the next weeks or so, that we'll see small pockets here and there," said Dr. Neill. He added those pockets can strengthen or weaken depending on the weather. "Red tide doesn't do very well in very cold water. So as the water temperature continues to decrease, the likelihood of a big bloom will decrease," Dr. Neill said. If you come in contact with dead fish, experts say it's best to avoid them.