Flows from Lake Okeechobee remain unchanged

Published July 28, 2016

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District plans no changes in water discharges from Lake Okeechobee over the next week.

The target flow for the Caloosahatchee Estuary remains 2,800 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured at W.P. Franklin Lock & Dam (S-79) located near Fort Myers.  The target flow for the St. Lucie Estuary is 650 cfs as measured at St. Lucie Lock & Dam (S-80) near Stuart. Additional runoff from rain in the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie basins could occasionally result in flows that exceed targets.

“The lake has risen slightly over the past few days,” said Jim Jeffords, Operations Division Chief for the Jacksonville District.  “Rain along the Gulf Coast has limited the ability to discharge water to the west, but dry weather south of the lake has allowed for increased flows in that direction.”

Today, the lake stage is 14.72 feet, up 0.06 feet over the past week and up more than a foot since the lake hit its low for 2016 of 13.64 on May 17.  The lake is currently in the Operational Low Sub-Band (but within one 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. 

“The peak of hurricane season is still ahead,” said Jeffords.  “August has produced multiple systems in the past 10 years that have caused the lake to jump three feet.  We must continue to be aggressive in managing the water level in the lake.” 

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


John Campbell

Release no. 16-058