This Week's Water Conditions Update

January 6, 2023

Water Conditions Tracker
Lake Okeechobee Levels & Caloosahatchee Flow Impacts

On 1/4/23 Lake Okeechobee was at 16.35 feet, increasing by 0.00 feet in the past week. The weekly average flow at S-79 was 1,952 cfs (cubic feet per second) and flow from the Lake at S-77 was an average of 1,223 cfs. The 14-day average flow at S-79 was 1,985 cfs and has been in the optimal flow envelope (750 - 2,100cfs) for 6 days after being in the stress flow envelope for 4 days (2,100 - 2,600).

For more information on Lake Okeechobee and estuary conditions go to 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 1/3/23 at 12:46 PM on a rising tide tide (1.4 ft).

Red Tide

Satellite imagery over the past week has detected low to high concentrations of chlorophyll of the coast of Southwest Florida.

On 1/4/23, the FWC reported that over the past week the red tide organism, Karenia brevis, was detected in 67 samples collected from and offshore of Southwest Florida over the past week. Bloom concentrations (>100,000 cells/liter) were present in 13 samples: one in Pinellas County, one in Hillsborough County, six in Manatee County, four in Sarasota County, and one offshore of Charlotte County. 


K. brevis was observed at background to medium concentrations in Pinellas County, medium concentrations in Hillsborough County, background to medium concentrations in Manatee County, background to medium concentrations in Sarasota County, high concentrations offshore of Charlotte County, background concentrations in Lee County, and background concentrations offshore of Collier County.

The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) (currently displaced off island) received 3 birds with toxicosis symptoms (from red tide or blue-green algae) from 12/20/22 - 1/2/23.

Fish Kills

The FWC Fish Kill Hotline reported multiple fish kills in Lee County with cold weather as the suspected cause. Species affected include spotted sea trout, catfish, tilapia, peacock bass, and largemouth bass.

Reports of multispecies fish kills in Cape Coral canals were reported with the suspected cause being low dissolved oxygen (measured in one canal at 1.7 mg/L). Fish were reported to be gasping for air at the surface, which is another indication of low dissolved oxygen. Another suspected cause related to this event is cold weather.

Blue-Green Algae

On 1/3/23 sampling for cyanobacteria by the Lee County Environmental Lab reported the presence of Microcystis upstream of the Franklin Locks as a wind driven tan-green scum along the lock. Microcystis and Dolichospermum were moderately abundant the Davis Boat Ramp as a wind driven tan-green scum along the seawall and as streaks.

On 1/04/23, satellite imagery from Lake Okeechobee showed no bloom potential in the lake.

Become a Citizen Scientist and Get the Algae Reporting App Today!
SCCF wants to know when and where all types of algae sightings occur to monitor conditions around the islands and to investigate algae bloom occurrence with patterns in seasonal weather changes and Lake Okeechobee water management practices.

Download the algae reporting app on your phone by clicking here or by searching for the ArcGIS Survey123 app in the app store. Once installed, give the app permission to access your phone’s location to receive GPS coordinates of your sighting and camera/media to capture and attach pictures. When you open the app, click “Continue Without Signing In.” 

Next, download the algae reporting survey by scanning the QR code above or clicking here on your phone. Once the survey is downloaded, fill out the required fields and click the check mark in the lower right corner to submit your sighting. Note: If you do not have cellular coverage, you can still fill out the survey and save it in the outbox to be sent later.
Click here to download instructions.

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.

Click here to subscribe to Connecting You to SCCF and other SCCF mailing lists.
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