Corps to increase target flows from Lake Okeechobee to Caloosahatchee

Published Dec. 4, 2014


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will adjust the target flows to the Caloosahatchee Estuary as part of its efforts to manage the water level in Lake Okeechobee. 

Beginning Friday (Dec. 5), the new target flow to the Caloosahatchee Estuary is a seven-day average of 1,500 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured at W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam (S-79) near Fort Myers.  Runoff that accumulates in the Caloosahatchee River (C-43) west of Moore Haven will continue to be allowed to pass through the structure.

The target flow for the St. Lucie Estuary is unchanged at 0 cfs as measured at the St. Lucie Lock & Dam (S-80) near Stuart.  However, local basin runoff that accumulates in the St. Lucie Canal (C-44) will continue to be allowed to pass through the spillway as necessary.  

“We continue to see regular rain in the Kissimmee River basin, all of which flows into the lake,” said Jim Jeffords, Jacksonville District Operations Division Chief.  “The lake has been above 15.5 feet for most of the past two months.  With long-range forecasts calling for precipitation above normal over the winter months, we believe increased discharges are necessary to benefit the lake ecology and reduce chances of higher releases next year.”

Today, the lake stage is 15.57 feet.  It is currently in the Operational Low Sub-Band (but within 1 foot of Intermediate Sub-Band) as defined by the 2008 Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS).  Under current conditions, LORS authorizes the Corps to discharge up to 3,000 cfs to the Caloosahatchee and up to 1,170 cfs to the St. Lucie. 

For information on water level and flows data for Lake Okeechobee, visit the Jacksonville District water management website page at


John Campbell

Release no. 14-072