Corps to maintain flows from Lake Okeechobee at current rates

Published Aug. 18, 2016

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District plans no changes to current releases of water from Lake Okeechobee.

The target flow for the Caloosahatchee Estuary remains at a seven-day average of 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 remains at a seven-day average of 650 cfs as measured at St. Lucie Lock & Dam (S-80) near Stuart. The Corps will continue releasing water from the lake in a “pulse” fashion which means flows will vary during the seven-day release period. Additional runoff from rain in the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie basins could occasionally result in flows that exceed targets.

“The lake level has held steady over the past week,” said Candida Bronson, Acting Operations Division Chief for the Jacksonville District.  “It isn’t rising like it did earlier in the summer, but it’s not going down either.  Frequent rain in the area has limited the amount of water we’ve been able to get out of the lake due to significant runoff in both basins.”

Today, the lake stage is 14.75 feet, unchanged from last week.  The lake 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. 

Employees in the Jacksonville District Regulatory Division continue to review permit applications from the South Florida Water Management District on a variety of actions to temporarily store water and to help improve flows to Florida Bay.

“Our team has approved the first permit and are reviewing applications for others as quickly as we can,” said Donnie Kinard, Regulatory Division Chief for Jacksonville District.  “We understand the urgency in requesting these permits and are reviewing the proposals in close coordination with appropriate state and federal agencies.”

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


John Campbell

Release no. 16-064