Corps continues Lake Okeechobee releases to Caloosahatchee Estuary

Published Oct. 18, 2019

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District continued to release water from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee Estuary this week while releasing no water to the St. Lucie Estuary.

The current releases began Saturday, Oct. 5 with a targeted pulse release to the Caloosahatchee estuary at a 7-day average rate of 650 cubic feet per second (cfs) from the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam (S-79). No scheduled releases through the St. Lucie Lock and Dam (S-80) are planned at this time. As always, flows at either the W.P. Franklin or St. Lucie structures could occasionally be exceeded by runoff from rain that accumulates in the Caloosahatchee or St. Lucie basins, and those flows will be allowed to pass through the spillways as necessary. The Corps also will continue to release water when necessary to maintain navigation levels in the canals and to provide water supply.

Today’s stage at Lake Okeechobee is 13.42 feet, down 0.11 feet in the last week, and down 0.44 feet during the past 30 days.

“We are still cautious about lower than normal lake levels for this time of year, but the lake level has stayed fairly stable since we began releases to the Caloosahatchee Oct. 5,” said Col. Andrew Kelly, commander of the Jacksonville District. “We still believe the lake status remains good, and we will keep monitoring all factors impacting lake levels as we enter the dry season and shift focus to water supply needs.”

Our partners at the Department of Environmental Protection report that according to the most recent viable satellite imagery, bloom potential is low on Lake Okeechobee and the estuaries remain free of blooms. However, bloom potential is subject to change rapidly due to environmental conditions.

Jim Yocum
(904) 232-3914

Release no. 19-082