Water-Related News

Lake Okeechobee releases to Caloosahatchee stay at 2,000 cfs.

JACKSONVILLE – This summer could bring more and larger algal blooms on Lake Okeechobee, according to Col. Andrew Kelly, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District.

In a May 7 media call, Kelly said algal blooms are one of the factors they keep in mind when determining releases from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee River and St. Lucie River.

The Corps made no changes to the release schedule this week. There is no flow at the St. Lucie Lock to the St. Lucie River. Flow to the Caloosahatchee River, measured at the Franklin Lock, is capped at 2,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). This flow includes water from the lake and local basin runoff.

“Today the lake is at 13.87 feet, about .38 lower than a month ago, but we are still sitting 2.5 feet higher than we were last year,” Kelly explained. “Releases south of the lake are around 2,700 to 2,800 cfs.”

“For this next week, we are not changing our operation,” he said.

“In the dry season the Caloosahatchee absolutely needs water from Lake Okeechobee,” Kelly explained. “2,000 cfs is a little high on the beneficial range, but it’s ecologically OK.”