Corps reduces flows to Caloosahatchee Estuary

Published March 31, 2017
Water flows through the spillway at W.P. Franklin Lock & Dam near Fort Myers.

Water flows through the spillway at W.P. Franklin Lock & Dam near Fort Myers.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will reduce flows from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee Estuary over the coming week.

The Corps started a new seven-day pulse release today (March 31) to the Caloosahatchee Estuary with a target flow averaging 450 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured at W.P. Franklin Lock (S-79) near Fort Myers.  No water from the lake is expected to be released through St. Lucie Lock (S-80) near Stuart.  However, flows at either the Franklin or St. Lucie structures could occasionally be exceeded by runoff from rain that accumulates in the Caloosahatchee or St. Lucie basins—those flows will be allowed to pass through the spillway as necessary.

“With continued dry weather in the forecast, we expect the lake to continue its dry-season recession for several weeks,” said Luis Alejandro, chief of Jacksonville District’s Water Management Section.  “We will continue to monitor conditions and adjust as necessary.”

Today, the lake stage is 12.54 feet, placing it in the Operational Beneficial Use Sub-Band as defined by the 2008 Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS).  When the lake drops into the Beneficial Use Sub-Band (elevation 12.60 feet), water allocation decisions are based largely on recommendations from the South Florida Water Management District. 

For more information on water level and flows data for Lake Okeechobee, visit the Corps’ water management website at


John Campbell

Release no. 17-013