Thousands of dead fish wash up on Cocoa Beach

Red tide confirmed in Satellite Beach

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist, Erik Sandoval

COCOA BEACH, Fla. - Brevard County officials are expected to put up more signs warning of red tide at area beaches on Saturday morning, a day after thousands of fish washed ashore in Cocoa Beach.

The fish lined the beaches near the International Palms Resort and Lori Wilson Park to south of North 4th Street. Dead fish have washed up along Brevard beaches this week, including mullet, menhaden, ladyfish, Spanish mackerel and others, reported Florida Today.

Test results that came in Wednesday evening showed that red tide is present in high levels in Pelican Beach Park in Satellite Beach, and in medium levels in Indialantic, Coconut Point Park in Melbourne Beach and Spessard Holland South in Melbourne Beach.

Those areas are short drive away from the large fish kill in Cocoa Beach, but wildlife officials have not confirmed it is directly related to red tide.

Brevard County government communications director Don Walker said the county does not plan on closing any beaches.

News 6 partner Florida Today reports Keep Brevard Beautiful staff showed up to the area with rakes, trash pickers, shovels and large trash bins. They raked the dead fish into piles before scooping them into the bins, which required at least two people to lift into the back of a golf cart to be hauled away.

On Friday night, the fish kill kept many people away from a nighttime stroll, but not everyone.

Kevin Evester, of Merritt Island, used a flashlight to get a glimpse of what the tide brought in.

"We normally go to the beach just a few miles north of here up in Cape Canaveral, and we saw this in the news," he said. "We came down here to see it for ourselves."

The red tide began last October off southwest Florida after Hurricane Irma swept up the state. It has killed massive numbers of fish, along with scores of sea turtles and the state's beloved manatees.

The bloom also causes respiratory irritations in people.

Brevard County officials ordered 300 signs to be placed as soon as possible in areas where red tide is present. Some signs were posted Thursday and they will continue to be placed on beaches, at lifeguard stands and at parks in the coming days.

Brevard County residents and anyone else living in an area impacted by red tide is encouraged to visit for the most up-to-date information on the outbreak.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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