The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will step down the amount of water flowing from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee Estuary on Friday, January 11.
Lake Okeechobee levels dropped below 12.60 feet this past weekend, moving from the Operational Base Flow Sub-Band into the Operational Beneficial Use Sub-Band, as defined by the 2008 Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS).
The new seven-day pulse release schedule will begin on Friday, January 11, with a target flow averaging 850 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured at W.P. Franklin Lock (S-79) near Fort Myers. The St. Lucie target will remain at zero cfs. Additional runoff from rain in the local Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie basins could occasionally result in flows that exceed one or both targets.
“Since we are now in the Beneficial Use Sub-Band, we are stepping down flows to the Caloosahatchee estuary from the previous average of 1,000 cubic feet per second to 850 cfs,” said Lt. Col. Jennifer Reynolds, Deputy Commander for South Florida.Today’s lake stage is 12.52 feet above sea level. Today’s lake stage is 12.46 feet above sea level. During the past week, lake levels receded 0.19 feet, with a 0.36 foot drop in the past 30 days.
Previous Release Decision:
Starting Friday October 5, the Corps began a gradual 3-week transition to reduce flows from Lake Okeechobee by implementing 7-day pulse releases with an average target flow for the Caloosahatchee Estuary of 2,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured at W.P. Franklin Lock & Dam (S-79) near Fort Myers, and zero cfs for the St. Lucie Estuary as measured at St. Lucie Lock & Dam (S-80) near Stuart. Average target flows to the Caloosahatchee were stepped down to 1,500 cfs on October 12, and 1,000 cfs on October 19, while the St. Lucie target remained at zero cfs.
The Corps had maintained the 7-day average pulse release schedule of 1,000 cfs to the Caloosahatchee Estuary since October 19.
For more information on water level and flows data for Lake Okeechobee, visit the Corps’ water management website at http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/WaterManagement.aspx
Release no. 19-001