Lake releases designed to help Caloosahatchee River
EAA reservoir still “full steam ahead”
JACKSONVILLE — A small change in the amount of water released from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee River is designed to help the Caloosahatchee estuaries, according to Col. Andrew Kelly, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District commander.
In a Friday news teleconference, Col. Kelly said a change from the minimum flow designated by the South Florida Water Management District of 457 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 650 cfs will support the Caloosahatchee.
Water from the lake is released to the river at Moore Haven (the S-77 water control structure). The Franklin Lock is 43.4 miles from Moore Haven. For the seven-day period ending March 15, the average flow at the Moore Haven Lock was 711 cfs, and the average flow at the Franklin Lock was 364 cfs. Col. Kelly said some water is lost between Moore Haven and the Franklin Lock due to the extreme dry conditions.
“We know the conditions are dry all around,” he said. “There is absolutely water lost.” He said water is released in pulses, and “there’s a little bit of art to the science” of pulse releases. “We are guessing a little bit when we pulse and we are pretty good,” said Col. Kelly. He said the goal of the releases is to average a flow of 650 cfs at the Franklin Lock.