The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will temporarily suspend water releases from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie Estuary in response to concerns about an algal bloom on the east side of the lake.
The suspension takes effect immediately to allow state teams to test the algal bloom which has been reported near the Port Mayaca Lock & Dam (S-308). However, runoff from rain that collects in the St. Lucie Canal will still be allowed to pass through the St. Lucie Lock & Dam (S-80) near Stuart.
The target flow for the Caloosahatchee Estuary remains unchanged at a seven-day average of 1,800 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured at W.P. Franklin Lock (S-79) near Fort Myers, although runoff from rain that accumulates in the Caloosahatchee River will still be allowed to pass through the structure.
"The Corps wants to get additional information on the bloom and review options," said Col. Alan Dodd Jacksonville District Commander. "We are working in partnership with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and South Florida Water Management District to gather information and will make another water management decision on flows early next week.”
Today, the lake stage is 13.71 feet. It is currently in the Operational Low 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 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. 15-047