SFWMD may close some locks

WEST PALM BEACH — For boaters navigating to and from Lake Okeechobee, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) soon will close several navigation locks on the north shore for safety reasons. The closures are a result of persistent drier-than-average conditions that have reduced water levels in Lake Okeechobee. Injury and lock damage could occur when boats pass through these structures at water levels below any of the designated safety limits.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee New/SFWMD
This map shows navigation locks that could be closed or see operating hours reduced because of low water levels in Lake Okeechobee.

On Jan. 25, the water level in Lake Okeechobee was 12.32 feet. If the lake falls below 12 feet, these locks along the north shore will be closed:
• Martin County: S-135 structure, J&S Fish Camp.
• Okeechobee County: G-36 structure, Henry Creek.
• Glades County: S-127 structure, Buckhead Ridge.
• Glades County: S-131 structure, Lakeport.

Also on the north shore, if the lake falls below 12 feet, the operating hours for the S-193 lock at Taylor Creek in Okeechobee County will be reduced to Saturdays and Sundays between 5:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. The S-193 lock will close if lake levels fall below 11 feet.

Changing conditions on site may warrant SFWMD closing these locks before the lake drops to these levels.

On the south shore, the S-310 lock at Clewiston in Hendry County will remain open even as low lake levels continue. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages the locks leading from the lake to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers.

To get the latest information on Lake Okeechobee’s water volume, including daily levels, visit SFWMD’s website at www.sfwmd.gov/science-data/levels.

To get the latest information on navigation through SFWMD structures and waterways, visit www.sfwmd.gov/navigation.

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