Dr. Webster’s BLOG

Weekly Beach Report

Is the beach safe this week?

Hi everyone! Our social media post in late July regarding the beach advisories was so popular, we decided that we should update our blog every week to let you know if the beaches are safe for you and your pets.  We will include information on not only fecal coliform & enterococci, but will also monitor the FWC website for the latest red tide reports.  But first- a few clarifications to help everyone understand what happens every week.

Water samples are taken by the Florida Department of Public Health from dozens of beaches around the state to test for fecal coliform and enterococcus bacteria. These samples are taken usually on Wednesdays of each week- unless it is a public holiday.  It takes a day before test results are back- and we will report on these as soon as we can review and post them here. The Florida Department of Public Health, however does not test or report on Red Tide- that is handled by the Florida Department of Fish and Wildlife. As of the time of this post, there is a major problem with red tide to our south- and the FWC is posting regular updates. As of now, red tide has not been detected in Tampa Bay or in the Gulf waters of Pinellas or Pasco County. If it is reported, we’ll post it here.

Please understand that red tide is an algae bloom- and is not the same as fecal coliform or enterococcus bacteria. I’ll be writing a blog on the differences soon.

There are lots of public beaches in our area- but we will only be posting on the following beaches since they allow our furry friends to play. They are:

  • Davis Island
  • Picnic Island
  • Fort Desoto
  • Apollo Beach Nature Preserve*
  • Honeymoon Island

*Apollo Beach Nature Preserve is not a site that is tested, however there are two test sites within a few miles of this dog beach- Bahia Beach and Simmons Park. We will report the findings for these sites.  Use this data at your own risk.

You may be asking about Gandy Beach. Unfortunately, the Florida Department of Health does not currently do testing at this site. If this changes, we will include it.

Hillsborough County Water Quality Results: Updated March 6, 2019

Davis Island– Good.

Picnic IslandGood

Apollo Beach Nature PreserveGOOD. 

Pinellas County Water Quality Results: Updated March 4, 2019

Fort Desoto: GOOD

Please note- Fort Desoto issued a DISTEMPER Advisory in Mid-January. Unvaccinated pets, puppies or other pets with compromised immune systems should avoid Fort Desoto until this advisory is lifted. Distemper is highly contagious and often deadly for unvaccinated pets. Even a vaccinated pet can spread the virus to unvaccinated pets. For this reason, we suggest avoiding Fort Desoto until the advisory is lifted.

Honeymoon Island: GOOD


For all local beach reports (non-dog beaches)- follow these links:

Hillsborough County Beaches

Pinellas County Beaches


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