The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District has taken two actions to facilitate an effort to improve water quality and fishing in East Lake Tohopekaliga.
The Corps issued a permit to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) for removal of material from the lake Toho and approved a request from the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) for a temporary planned deviation from the Water Control Plan in the Master Control Manual for Kissimmee River – Lake Istokpoga. These actions will facilitate the East Lake Tohopekaliga (Toho) Drawdown and Habitat Enhancement.
FWC plans to remove vegetation and other organic material in approximately 100 acres of littoral zone, and prescribed burning of roughly 200 acres of exotic vegetation. The benefits of this project include the reduction of organic sediment and nuisance vegetation; improved recreational fishery habitat and water quality in the littoral zone; improved foraging habitat for the Everglades Snail Kite; and improved navigation and boat access around the lake. Spoil material would be stored in two in-lake disposal islands totaling approximately six acres.
The drawdown of water levels in the lake requires a deviation from the Master Water Control Manual for Kissimmee River-Lake Istokpoga Basin. The approved deviation allows the South Florida Water Management District to conduct a drawdown of East Lake Toho for removal of vegetation and organic material for habitat enhancement. South Florida Water Management District will initiate operations as needed to follow the East Lake Drawdown deviation line.
East Lake Toho is an approximately 12,000-acre lake located in Osceola County, Florida within the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes. Water stabilization via the construction of water control structures and pollution from watershed development are major contributors to deteriorating aquatic habitat conditions in East Lake Toho, which require littoral zone rehabilitation.
Release no. 19-085