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Water Quality Update – October 23, 2015

Samples were collected from all stations except Bayou’s Chico and Grande. Water temperatures are beginning to decrease (we have a couple logged in the 60’s). Salinities remain a little higher than normal for most locations. Less than 50% of the stations we monitor measured dissolved oxygen this week but for those that did – no problems. Bacteria counts are very low.


High levels of Karenia brevis (red tide) were reported this week in Bay and Gulf counties (Panama City and Port St. Joe). Both dead fish and respiratory irritations were reported from Mexico Beach and Port St. Joe area. Moderate levels were reported for Manatee, Sarasota, and Pinellas counties. Dead fish and respiratory irritations were reported from St. Casey Key Beach in Sarasota County. Low values were recorded from Charlotte and Lee counties.


The FWC fish kill database is up and running now. The new look is good, still learning to navigate but could not find any reports of dead fish in our two county area.


UWF will survey for lionfish inshore this weekend.


There has been concern about cases of Vibrio infection. We have posted an article about this bacteria which you can find at http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2015/07/10/what-you-need-to-know-about-vibrio-bacteria-in-gulf-waters/


Health Advisories – 4 reported for October

Fish Kills – none for October

Red Tide – none for October

Inshore Lionfish – none for October


Here are the numbers…


Oct 16, 2015



Body of Water                   Temp (F)              Salinity (ppt)      DO (mg/L)           ENT        ECHD

Floridatown                            71                    18.9                             8.4                   2

Blackwater River                    67                    3.2                               6.9                   31 (coliform)

Bayou Texar                            69                    20.9                             7.3                   4          GOOD

Bayou Chico                           no data

Bayou Grande                        no data

Lower Perdido Bay                 72                    25.8                             nd                    12

Upper Perdido Bay                 73                    18.4                             nd                    6 (coliform)

Wayside Gulf Breeze              72                    28.7                             nd                    0


HIGH SCHOOL DATA – FOR SEPTEMBER                                                               

Washington High sampled Texar on Sep 1 and 15.

Water temperatures declined over those two weeks

Salinities were between 10 – 20 ppt

Dissolved oxygen read 3.8 mg/L at station #1 (12th avenue bridge) on Sep 1 but increased

Station #1 had high nitrogen levels all month (1400 – 1800 µg/L)

Stations #3, #4 (near Bayview Park) were 0 µg/L

There was a significant increase in phosphorus at #3 (Oyster Barn boat ramp) on Sep 1

There was a significant increase in chlorophyll a at #2 (Hyde Park road)

There was a significant decrease in water clarity in the bayou during September


West Florida sampled Upper Perdido Bay between Jan-Apr 2015 – no report so far this semester

Saw a significant decrease in total nitrogen in the spring

Saw a significant decrease in total phosphorus in the spring

Chlorophyll a was much higher in Jan than anytime during the spring


Escambia High – no report at this time


ENT – Enterococcus bacteria; an individual sample should not be more than 104 colonies / 100ml

Fecal Coliform – an individual sample should not be more than 800 colonies / 100ml of sample

DO  – dissolved oxygen should be 3.0 mg/L or higher

ECHD – Escambia County Health Department  (Enterococcus bacteria)

Good               0 – 35 colonies / 100ml

Moderate        36 – 104 colonies / 100ml

Poor                +104 colonies / 100ml


FDEP – Florida Department of Environmental Protection

For more information on local water visit:




Permanent link to this article: https://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2015/10/23/water-quality-update-october-23-2015/