The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District has announced plans to extend the current water release from Lake Okeechobee through next week.
The current release began Monday, June 24, on a seven-day schedule that was to end on July 1. The Corps will now extend that release until Friday, July 5. The average target flow remain the same—3,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) for the Caloosahatchee Estuary as measured at W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam (S-79) near Fort Myers, and 1,170 cfs for the St. Lucie Estuary as measured at the St. Lucie Lock and Dam (S-80) near Stuart. The target flows will include lake water, and any runoff that might be collected in the Caloosahatchee River and St. Lucie canal.
Today, the lake stage is 13.98 feet, which is within the Low Operational Sub-Band as defined under the 2008 Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule, the master plan for water management of the lake. Conditions around the lake remain wet, with rainfall 40% above average since the beginning of April. Wet conditions are forecast to continue, with above average rainfall predicted through September.
Additional increases in the discharge rate may be necessary as conditions change. The Corps will continue to monitor and make adjustments as necessary.
Since the Corps began water releases on May 8 approximately 310,000 acre-feet of water has passed through the Franklin and St. Lucie Locks. However, only 95,000 acre-feet of that total, or 31%, has come from the lake. The remainder of the water is runoff that has been collected in the Caloosahatchee River and St. Lucie Canal.
For more information on water level and flows data for Lake Okeechobee, visit the Jacksonville District’s water management page:
Release no. 13-043