This Week's Water Conditions Update
April 8, 2022
Water Conditions Tracker
Lake Okeechobee Levels & Caloosahatchee Flow Impacts
On 4/6/22 Lake Okeechobee was at 13.73 feet, decreasing by 0.06 feet in the past week. The weekly average flow at S-79 was 1,633 cfs (cubic feet per second) and flow from the Lake at S-77 was an average of 1,879 cfs. The 14-day average flow was 1,892 cfs and has been in the optimal flow envelope for 134 days.
For more information on Lake Okeechobee and estuary conditions go to the latest Caloosahatchee Conditions Report
US Army Corps reduced flow at S-79 to 1800 cfs
On 3/29, SCCF and other west coast stakeholders reported local conditions and discussed considerations of changes in flow at S-79 with the US Army Corps of Engineers as we enter the end of the dry season. Typically, the months of March and April are when spawning season begins for many estuarine and marine organisms, including oysters and fishes. During this time, high flows have the potential to push larvae downstream outside of suitable habitat. Gradual reductions in flow (such as 2000 cfs to 1800 cfs) prevent dramatic increases in salinity causing stress to some organisms and balance the need for maintaining a healthy salinity gradient with the need for maintaining habitat for oyster and fish larvae.

SCCF and the west coast stakeholders recommended that the Corps maintain flows at 1800 cfs while monitoring salinity throughout the estuary and make adjustments as needed for the health of seagrass and oysters in the latest Caloosahatchee Conditions Report.
Virtual Water Quality Tour from Lighthouse Beach
Click here or on the image above to take a virtual tour from above Lighthouse Beach Park to see how the water looked this week.

Photo was taken on 4/4/22 at 12:56 AM on a rising tide (high tide @ 2:00 PM (2.81 ft).
Red Tide
Satellite imagery over the past week has not detected any blooms off the coast of Southwest Florida.

On 4/1/22, the FWC reported that K. brevis was observed at background concentrations in one from Manatee county. 

The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) on Sanibel received 3 birds with toxicosis symptoms (from red tide or blue-green algae) from 3/29/22 - 4/4/22.
Blue-Green Algae
On 4/4/22 sampling for cyanobacteria by the Lee County Environmental Lab reported the presence of Dolichospermum at the Alva Boat Ramp as sparse specks. Dolichospermum and Microcystis were moderately abundant at the Davis Boat Ramp and upstream of the Franklin Locks with streaks and accumulation along the seawall.

Over the past week, satellite imagery from Lake Okeechobee showed no to low/moderate algal blooms. Cyanobacteria was occurring mainly on the North western shore.
Resources To Follow:
To learn more about our current water conditions, click on the following links:

A collaborative, weekly analysis, including recommendations for water managers regarding Lake Okeechobee flows.

SCCF's River, Estuary, and Coastal Observing Network is a network of eight optical water quality sensors deployed throughout the Caloosahatchee and the Pine Island Sound estuary to provide real-time water quality data.

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