OKEECHOBEE, Fla. — Over the weekend the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began to reduce Lake Okeechobee releases to the Caloosahatchee River to 1,500 cubic feet per second as measured at the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam (while making no changes to the current 500 flow out of St. Lucie Lock and Dam (S-80) that began March 6th.
The lake stage is at 14.67 feet. The lake has fallen 0.74 feet in the past 30 days but is still 2.55 feet higher than it was one year ago and 2.53 feet higher than it was two years ago. Rainfall could result in higher releases than the targets due to local basin runoff. The releases will be re-evaluated regularly.
“After several months of holding steady, the lake began to recede in the past few weeks, and we anticipate that to accelerate from increased evapotranspiration and dry conditions as we move further into the dry season,” said Col. Andrew Kelly, Jacksonville District commander.
Recently, water users have taken more water south, and the southern portion of the system has begun to return to more normal levels after a very wet Fall of 2020 limited the flows south earlier this dry season.
For more information on water level and flows data for Lake Okeechobee, visit the Corps’ water management website by clicking here.