US Army Corps of Engineers to reduce Lake Okeechobee target flows
Currently, 295 square miles of Lake Okeechobee is covered in algae, according to NOAA. The typical concern with Lake Okeechobee is that the water spills into the Caloosahatchee River and may contain these blue-green algae.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District announced this week that it will reduce target flows from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee River beginning Saturday as lake levels remain stable due to drier conditions and runoff from the local basin was sufficient to maintain salinity levels in the estuary. . Caloosahatche releases will be reduced from 790 cubic feet per second to 650 cubic feet per second at WP Frankin Lock and Dam in Alva.
Lt. Col. Todd Polk, Jacksonville District Deputy Commander for South Florida, said, “Lake levels continue to remain fairly stable as they typically rise at this time of year. We’ve had drier conditions and very little tropical activity recently. Additionally, there has not been much flow into the lake from the Kissimmee Basin northward for several months, and the chain of lakes, although it is slowly rising, is still quite weak.Our partners at the South Florida Water Management District have recommended a 650 cfs flow to the Caloosahatchee, and we agree with their recommendation. This slightly reduced flow target will continue to provide beneficial flows to the Caloosahatchee Estuary.