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Beach at Sanibel and Captiva Islands
6 Aug 2018
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Water Quality

STATUS REPORT #9 City of Sanibel Fish Kill Clean-up

Crystal Mansell

08/07/2018 10:24 am

Read this status report for current fish kill clean-up efforts.

News Release – For Immediate Release
August 7, 2018
City of Sanibel
Contact: City Manager’s Office (239) 472-3700


City of Sanibel Fish Kill Clean-up

IN A NUTSHELL - The City continues the collection and removal that began on Saturday, July 28th.  First break of day reports indicate like yesterday, today the dead sea life deposits are heavier on the Bayside.  This is more challenging due to limited access to some of the Bayside areas where dead sea life accumulated.  We are deploying both boats for water borne as well hand crews to these Bayside areas.  Though volume is slightly less then yesterday on the gulf-side at this time we are at high tide.  Thus far today, the Gulf-side of Lighthouse Beach is light in deposits for the first time since the crisis began.  The greatest deposits occur at low tide.  Today the city is working two shifts of beach clean-up crews per day in an effort to catch deposits after the second tide of the day.  Yesterday, the City removed one large carcass from our shores  (one Goliath Grouper) and thousands of smaller dead sea life from the impacted areas of the beaches.  Today, two additional UTVs have been added to the fleet.  The City has 6 flats boats in the canals and on the Bay today collecting, removing & transporting dead sea life from the canals. 

We currently have three basic operations underway to remove dead sea life from the Island under the direction of the City of Sanibel Department of Public Works:

  1. Beach Clean-up
  2. Canal Clean-up and waterside removal; and
  3. “Rapid Response Team” primarily addressing large carcasses

In addition to two shifts of contractual labor today at this time the City has the following contractual equipment augmenting our rolling & marine fleet:

  • 15 UTV’s (2 additional)
  • 6  boats for canal cleaning
  • 1 10 cy dump trailer
  • 3 loaders
  • 2 tractor/trailer combos (one down for maintenance)

The City of Sanibel Boat Ramp is the staging area for the Canal and water-borne clean-up operations.  Currently  all dead sea life is being either loaded into dumpsters at the beach for transport off-Island or  transported back to the Public Works yard for disposal or hauling off-Island by Advanced Disposal.  Advanced Disposal deployed additional dumpsters to Public Works for debris disposal.  At this time, public access to the Boat Ramp is permitted. 

Large carcasses inventory for Monday, August 6th, 2018, (one day totals; NOT cumulative):


1 @ 250 lbs


None reported

First light of day report by City of Sanibel Public Works staff:

  • Lighthouse Beach
    • Current Conditions: Poor
    • Red Tide: Present
    • Odor: Very Strong
    • Deposits:  Approximately 20 dead sea life every 10 feet


  • Sanibel Boat Ramp
    • Current Conditions: Fair
    • Red Tide: Present
    • Odor: Yes
    • Deposits: 10 dead fish every 10 feet
  • Algiers Beach (Gulfside City Park)
    • Current Conditions: Very Poor
    • Red Tide: Present
    • Odor: Strong Odor Present
    • Deposits:  Approximately 5 dead sea life every 10 feet
  • Tarpon Bay Beach
    • Current Conditions:  Fair
    • Red Tide: Moderate presence
    • Odor: Present
    • Deposits:  Approximately 0 dead sea life every 10 feet at high tide
  • Bowman's Beach
    • Current Conditions:  Fair  
    • Red Tide:  Heavy presence
    • Odor: Present
    • Deposits:  Approximately 10 dead fish every 10 feet
  • Blind Pass
    • Current Conditions: Fair
    • Red Tide: Slight to Moderate presence
    • Odor: Slight
    • Deposits:  Approximately 10 dead sea life every 10 feet
  • Turner Beach Park
    • Current Conditions:  Good to Excellent
    • Red Tide: Not present
    • Odor: None
    • Deposits:  Zero deposits of dead fish present

Based on tides, winds and currents, these conditions may alter quickly and significantly. 

If you encounter any dead sea life washed ashore on private property that is too large to be removed by hand, please email address and location information to: , and attach a photo if possible. 

Catfish Caution:  A large portion of the dead fish on the beach are catfish.  The pectoral (side) fins and dorsal (top) fin contain sharp, venomous spines; extreme care should be used when handling this fish.  Beachgoers should also avoid stepping on dead catfish as some sharp barbs can even penetrate the sole of a shoe. 

Thank you for your support of our Island Community during this challenging time.

Judie Zimomra
Sanibel City Manager

NOAA Gulf of Mexico Harmful Algal Bloom Bulletin  

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Contact the City

Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing.

The City of Sanibel . 800 Dunlop Road . Sanibel . FL 33957
239.472.3700 Voice . 239.472.3065 Fax . 239.472.3111 Utilities Department 24hr Emergency Hotline