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3 Million Pounds Of Dead Fish Cleaned Up Off Pinellas County In Red Tide Fish Kill

PINELLAS COUNTY (CBSMiami) –  Pinellas County in Tampa Bay remains in the midst of one of the worst red tide fish kills ever, after more than 3 million pounds of dead fish were cleaned up over the weekend.

"It breaks my heart," said Carol Andrews who lives in Largo.

The dead fish are washing ashore from John's Pass almost up to Clearwater Beach.

"It changes day to day, but we've picked up approximately 1,500 tons of fish to date which is about equal to what we did in all of 2018," said Paul Dean with Pinellas County Public Works.

It now stretches for about 100 miles of the Florida Gulf Coast, and had moved right into Tampa Bay.

Michael Crosby, who studies red tides at Sarasota's Marine Laboratory, says "it becomes very difficult for it to get back out again because of the tidal sloshing back and forth."

Pinellas County Red Tide Fish Kill
Fish kill in Pinellas County caused by red tide. (Source: WFTS via CNN)

Pinellas County says this year's red tide and resulting fish kill started around June 11, which is about three months earlier this year than in 2018.

Over the weekend, the National Weather Service said some people may experience respiratory problems because of the persistent red tide.

Crews are continuing to work hard to clear the beaches of dead fish. They advise anyone looking to visit the beaches to check the red tide map before going.

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