The Truth About The Tampa Bay Red Tide & Piney Point


Want to know the truth about this red tide that has taken a massive toll on Tampa Bay and the surrounding areas?

If you’re as fired up about the red tide destroying our fishery as we are, then this is a very important episode to listen to.

Two of the leaders from Tampa Bay Waterkeeper join us to talk about what’s really going on with the red tide.

We also discuss the lawsuit that was filed against Piney Point and the state of Florida by Tampa Bay Waterkeeper and a few other organizations.

And you’ll learn the 4 simple things we need to be doing as anglers to help this horrible situation.

You can watch the video version of this podcast below, listen to the audio version by clicking the play button underneath it, or listen to it on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify.

P.S. Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify and leave us a review!

Tampa Bay Red Tide & Piney Point [VIDEO]

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Tampa Bay Red Tide & Piney Point [PODCAST]

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Here’s a timestamped table of contents:

  • 1:14 – The background of Tampa Bay Waterkeeper
  • 2:17 – Get to know the guys leading the charge at Tampa Bay
  • 7:45 – Is this the worst we’ve seen?
  • 8:20 – The reality of red tide (and how long has it happened)
  • 9:34 – The truth about Piney Point
  • 10:07 – How many tons of dead fish have been taken out of the water?
  • 10:50 – What a fishing captain said is the most unusual about this year’s red tide
  • 13:50 – The number of fish that have died so far is shocking
  • 14:18 – Tampa Bay in the 1970s
  • 15:45 – The assumption is that this is just the beginning…
  • 16:32 – Who’s to blame?
  • 17:04 – Lawsuits are filed (Read the details of the red tide lawsuits here)
  • 19:16 – The sewage spills that fly under the radar
  • 22:01 – What can we do now to help?
  • 23:08 – The clean-up efforts
  • 25:18 – Get involved with Tampa Bay Waterkeeper
  • 27:05 – This is a volunteer board, nobody gets paid
  • 30:37 – Guides are canceling trips (here’s what they’re seeing)
  • 33:04 – How far inland has the red tide reached so far?
  • 36:05 – The gasoline that supercharges this issue
  • 39:30 – Here are the 4 things you can do right now to make a difference
    • Catch & release (and/or just fish a different area)
    • Donate & educate
    • Assist with clean-up efforts
    • Contact your local and state representatives
  • 42:57 – What is phosphogypsum?
  • 50:22 – Everyone’s best memory of fishing in the Tampa Bay area
  • 56:46 – We can bounce back!

Want to learn more about the efforts of Tampa Bay Waterkeeper?

Click here to learn about the work of Tampa Bay Waterkeeper and how to get involved.


the truth about red tide

Red tide is naturally occurring.

BUT, we (humans) are adding gasoline to red tide through various outlets: sewage spills, Piney Point, and more.

Want to learn more about the efforts of Tampa Bay Waterkeeper?

Click here to learn about the work of Tampa Bay Waterkeeper and how to get involved.

Have any questions about how we can help as anglers?

Let me know down in the comments!

And if you know someone who wants to learn more about the red tide lawsuits, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Aaron Hasenei
2 years ago

Thank you Tampa Bay water keeper, Salt Strong, and all the other un-named organizations for illuminating this important issue. Eutrophication is one of the absolute greatest threats to all of our nation’s estuaries hands down. Contact your local legislators and keep fighting the good fight!

2 years ago

If you aren’t in the Tampa Area, support and join your local Waterkeeper! Go to to find your local branch.

Marc Wisniewski
2 years ago

I was coming down in November. Sounds like I should cancel.

Justin Ritchey
2 years ago

While it may seem tragic right now, I wouldn’t cancel your trip in November. A lot changes between now and then, especially with Storms/Hurricanes really mixing the deck of cards up for Tampa Bay. Plus there are excellent areas to fish just to the north, like Clearwater, Anclote Key and more.

Christopher Shuff
2 years ago

It would be great if your page post had direct links to contact your local and state representatives.

Gordon McBride
2 years ago

Been going on for decades is right. I recall from 1971 at MacDill AFB formed “fish detail” loading dump trucks of rotting fish. You couldn’t walk Bayshore without burning in your throat if you could stand the smell.

Donald Rice
2 years ago

Thanks Salt Strong for getting involved and raising awareness.
The public needs to look it the mirror. Human pollution is preventable. Pointing fingers at government is not he answer. All politicians know part of the answer is to fix infrastructure (septic systems, sewers and storm drains) It is political suicide to campaign on raising taxes to upgrade the current utilities. It is raising the public awareness that will make a difference. I’m a career plumbing sewer and septic contractor. I know who’s pointing the finger and who’s to blame. With a few exceptions (piney point and others) it is the public to blame! Just my opinion

Philip Stoddard
2 years ago

Joe, thanks for engaging the membership in this important issue. -Phil

Dale Parker
2 years ago

This was an excellent podcast. Really interesting insight on our Tampa bay and surrounding area issues. I’m at a loss for why the Fed. EPA is not breathing down the necks of the polluters both Industrial and municipalities. I’m joining the TBWk’s as result of this video. We are from NE Ohio and Lake Erie was in the same state of downward spiral of pollution, much from Municipalities and industry. The Fed’s EPA came in and clamped down on every city in denial of their contribution to pollution. The City of Akron was forced by EPA to spend close to a billion dollars to stop sewage overflows.
That’s what needs to happen in Tampa, Sarasota and Bradenton. Goggle, “The Big Dig”. The city of Akron has built a mile long underground tunnels to capture sewage over flow and process is over time after large rain events. Lake Erie has become a great fishing lake out of the depths of the 60’s when feeding Rivers would literally catch on fire from pollution.
Thanks for this video! kudos!

Buzz Butters
2 years ago

Way to go Salt Strong. Definitive, accurate information that gives the sportsman angler a way to help with this tragedy . SS not just a fishing club. I’ve contacted over 20 of my Gulf Coast fishing buddies with links to Water Keeper website and your podcast. Thank you Keep us updated with progress. Buzz

Capt. Tom Marks
2 years ago

Excellent video podcast. It is discouraging to see such huge issues impacting our estuaries (I know it is more than just Tampa Bay). They are so many years in the making it looks impossible to “fix”. We can’t just give up we have to start somewhere. I am glad it was said that we can start by educating ourselves. It will hone our focus on issues that are important. Writing to the proper local, state, and federal representatives is important. Our representatives work for us, it is up to us to make it their priority to “fix”. We do that by creating the political will they can use. Political will is having all your neighbors… voters … calling in unison for change. Politicians want to keep their jobs that is only possible if produce results, in this case make changes the positively impact our concerns. Everyone wants the “big fix” right away but to be realistic it is usually not possible. I like to say go after the low hanging “fruit”. It big one might be totally replace our sewage infrastructure to meet current and future growth. Storm waters cause sewers to overflow in many cases it is by design. There is a lot to reduce storm water run off from stressing sewer treatment systems. Permeable hard surfaces like parking lots etc. Chanel runoff away to natural and man made wetlands. These are just a few ideas I am certain there are a lot more. One last comment, my home lake is Lake Erie. When I was young it was declared dead. I remember as a kid going to the beach and having to walk over a wide strip of dead fish to reach the water. Then we had to Wade through yards of rotting algae to reach what we considered clean water. You could smell Lake Erie from over a mile inland. The lake was dead. It took years and lots of work before it started to return to life. Today it still has problems but it is a far cry from what it was. The fishery for bass and walleye is second to none in North America. So for our estuaries are not lost, they are certainly sick.


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