Corps to reduce flows from Lake Okeechobee

Published May 21, 2015

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District has announced plans to reduce flows from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Estuaries over the coming week.

The adjustment in discharges will take place tomorrow (May 22).  The new target flow for the Caloosahatchee Estuary will be a seven-day average of 1,400 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured at W.P. Franklin Lock (S-79) near Fort Myers.  The Corps plans to release an average of 1,200 cfs from Lake Okeechobee through Moore Haven Lock (S-77) supplemented with flows averaging 200 cfs from the newly-completed Nicodemus Slough project operated by the South Florida Water Management District. 

The new target flow for the St. Lucie Estuary will be a seven-day average of 200 cfs as measured at St. Lucie Lock & Dam (S-80) near Stuart.  Flows at the Franklin and St. Lucie locations could occasionally be exceeded by runoff from rain that accumulates in the Caloosahatchee or St. Lucie basins—those flows will be allowed to pass through structures as necessary.

“The lake continues to drop at a steady rate,” said Jim Jeffords, Operations Division Chief for the Jacksonville District.  “As water supply demands increase south of the lake, we are able to reduce flows east and west.”

Today, the lake stage is 13.17 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


John Campbell

Release no. 15-054