Please click the image of the report or the link to find this week’s Caloosahatchee Condition Report, submitted on behalf of the west coast participants on the Corps’ periodic scientists phone call, to provide scientific information about the condition of the Caloosahatchee and estuary.
This report provides a scientific assessment of Caloosahatchee River and Estuary conditions and how these conditions affect the health, productivity, and function of the system.
Caloosahatchee Condition Summary: Flows to the Caloosahatchee estuary had a 7-day average of 4,864 cfs at S-79, due to west basin runoff, with a 7-day average of 0 cfs coming from the lake at S-77. Increased watershed runoff from the West Basin in the Caloosahatchee caused a large freshwater plume with high CDOM in San Carlos Bay (video of freshwater plume). With sustained flows >2,600 cfs, we expect low salinities may cause harm to marine organisms in the lower estuary.
Recommendation: We request no freshwater releases from Lake Okeechobee until watershed flows drop below 2,100 cfs. Once flows drop below 2,100 cfs, we request 7-day average flows be maintained between 750 – 2,100 cfs at S-79. This is consistent with the 2020 RECOVER optimum flow envelope for the Caloosahatchee estuary.
USACE Action: Since 5/8/20 to present, the Corps has been conducting pulse releases to the Caloosahatchee from Lake Okeechobee at a 7-day average of 650 cfs at S-79 and releasing no water to the St. Lucie estuary at S-80.
Past reports and background information on Caloosahatchee conditions are available online at: http://sccf.org/water-quality/caloosahatchee-condition-reports
Thank you for your consideration.
Kevin Godsea & Jeremy Conrad – J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuges Complex
Holly Milbrandt & Dana Dettmar – City of Sanibel
Lesli Haynes & Lisa Kreiger – Lee County
Harry Phillips & Maya Robert – City of Cape Coral
Leah Reidenbach, Rick Bartleson, Ph.D., and James Evans – SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation)