Heavy rainfall south of lake fills WCAs: Some water constrol structures closed to protect endangered sparrows

OKEECHOBEE — The good news: Freshwater is flowing to Everglades National Park from the Water Conservation Areas south of Lake Okeechobee. According to South Florida Water Management District Chief District Engineer John Mitnik, since the rains started two weeks ago, water has been flowing steadily south at maximum capacity from the water conservation areas (WCAs) […]

Memorial tournament raises money for late fisherman’s wife, daughter

OKEECHOBEE — On May 19, the Nik Kayler Memorial Tournament was held to honor the late fisherman who tragically passed away in January on Lake Okeechobee as well as to raise money for his wife and daughter. Starting at safe light, over 100 boats launched onto Lake Okeechobee to compete in the tournament. And despite […]

When good algae goes bad … NASA to help SFWMD and FAU study algal blooms

OKEECHOBEE — Algae is everywhere, and that’s a good thing because without it, there would be no life on planet Earth. Algae is the base of the food chain and produces about 75 percent of the oxygen in the atmosphere. Under certain conditions, algae grows rapidly, forming a bloom. Algal blooms are not always harmful, […]

Flow to coastal estuaries is local basin runoff

OKEECHOBEE — Freshwater flowing east through the St. Lucie canal this week is from local runoff. On Tuesday, water was flowing through the St. Lucie lock at 1,196 cubic feet per second (cfs). This freshwater flow is from the local basin. On Wednesday, the flow had lessened to 405 cfs. No water has been released […]

Freshwater flow to coastal estuaries is local basin runoff

OKEECHOBEE — Freshwater flowing east through the St. Lucie canal this week is from local runoff. On Tuesday, water was flowing through the St. Lucie lock at 1,196 cubic feet per second (cfs). This freshwater flow is from the local basin. No water has been released from Lake Okeechobee, which was at 13.2 ft. on […]

Taylor Creek (S-193) Lock on Lake Okeechobee’s north shore closed to boat traffic

OKEECHOBEE — On Monday, May 14, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) opened the gates of the S-193 navigation lock at Taylor Creek to assist with flood control north of Lake Okeechobee. As a result of this operation, the lock will be closed to boat traffic until further notice. Tropical moisture has already brought […]

Shallow reservoir proposed north of Lake Okeechobee

OKEECHOBEE — As the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project (LOWRP) moves through the planning phase, some changes have been proposed by the Project Delivery Team (PDT). The plans previously under consideration include reservoirs in Glades County, north of Lake Okeechobee, ranging from 5 to 15 feet in pool depth. A new plan uses a reservoir […]

Storm damage sets back river restoration; repairs estimated at $11 million

OKEECHOBEE — Work on the Kissimmee River Restoration had a serious setback from Hurricane Irma in 2017, but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers still expects to finish the project in 2020. Turbulence barriers were no match for the torrent of water rushing down the river from the upper Kissimmee after the hurricane dumped 8 […]

More study needed to deal with algal blooms; what we don’t know CAN hurt us

OKEECHOBEE — Nearly years after the ‘guacamole’ algae bloom that blanketed the Treasure Coast in the summer of 2016, there are plenty of theories, but we don’t “know” the cause. The prevailing theory was that algae in the freshwater released from Lake Okeechobee through the C-44 canal seeded the bloom, which grew to thick mats […]

SFWMD buys land for Lake Hicpochee enhancement

WEST PALM BEACH — The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board on April 12 approved the purchase of 2,510 acres in Glades County that will expand the ongoing Lake Hicpochee Shallow Hydrologic Enhancement Project. This project will benefit the Caloosahatchee River, Estuary and watershed by adding opportunities for water storage. “It’s simple math, […]