Corps maintains status quo on discharges from Lake Okeechobee

Published Dec. 23, 2015

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville district will continue water management operations at Lake Okeechobee at the same target flows for the next two weeks.

The Corps will begin another round of discharges consisting of two seven-day pulse releases from the lake starting Friday (Dec. 25).  The target flow for the Caloosahatchee during this period is unchanged at an average of 1,500 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured at W.P. Franklin Lock & Dam (S-79) near Fort Myers.  The Corps doesn’t plan to release water from the lake through St. Lucie Lock (S-80) near Stuart.  However, runoff from rain in the Caloosahatchee or the St. Lucie basins could occasionally result in flows that exceed targets as the water passes through the spillway gates at the Franklin or St. Lucie structures.

“The lake has risen more than a quarter of a foot over the past month,” said Lt. Col. Jennifer Reynolds, Jacksonville District Deputy Commander for South Florida.  “Moving water to the south remains a challenge due to heavy rains earlier this month.  If the lake keeps rising, we’ll have to send more water east and west.”

Today, the lake stage is 14.77 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.  The Corps will continue to monitor conditions and make adjustments as necessary.

For more information on water level and flows data for Lake Okeechobee, visit the Corps’ water management website at


John Campbell

Release no. 15-106