FDEP tracks toxic algae

OKEECHOBEE — Low water levels in Lake Okeechobee combined with the summer heat set the stage for cyanobacteria (blue green algae) blooms in the Big O this summer. The lake is still recovering from the massive inflow of nutrients in 2017 from Hurricane Irma. Over the past week, the algal bloom on Lake Okeechobee at […]

More storage north of lake needed, speakers tell task force

FORT MYERS — The Blue Green Algae Task Force July 1 meeting in Fort Myers included a review of Best Management Practices (BMPs) on agricultural lands north of Lake Okeechobee, and ideas for projects to meet the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) target for phosphorus into Lake Okeechobee. During the public comment period, many speakers […]

Algae at Port Mayaca lock contains toxins

PORT MAYACA — A sample from an algae bloom within the wing walls of the water control structure at Port Mayaca on June 26 contained the toxin microcystin at a level of 26 micrograms per liter according to the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation test. The Environmental Protection Agency considers levels about 8 micrograms per […]

Study finds low levels of microcystin in fish

PORT MAYACA – An Ocean Research and Conservation Association (ORCA) study on microcystin levels in fish in the St. Lucie Canal found very low levels of microcystin in most fish, well within the levels deemed safe for human consumption by the World Health Organization. The only fish found to be high in microcystin were armored […]

Task force wants more lake testing

FORT MYERS — Comprehensive testing of the lake water and sediment is needed in order to find the most efficient ways to reduce the blue green algal blooms in Lake Okeechobee, according to discussion at the Blue Green Algae Task Force’s second meeting, held July 1 in Fort Myers. “The challenges with regard to water […]

FWC responds to fish kill report

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission investigated reports of a fish kill on Lake Okeechobee last week, but could not find any dead fish. A video posted on Facebook by angler Kail Stevens on June 21 shows dead bass scattered on the surface of Lake Okeechobee near Lakeport. FWC biologists visited the area where the […]

Plants on lake controlled with spraying

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is conducting aquatic plant control on Lake Okeechobee this week through July 5. According to FWC, “these sites have been identified as critical infestation sites for floating plants as they negatively impact native habitat and navigation and require management on Lake Okeechobee. The low water levels seen around […]

Haul seine nets may have caused fish kill

OKEECHOBEE — A video posted on Facebook by angler Kail Stevens on June 21 shows dead bass scattered on the surface of Lake Okeechobee near Lakeport. Some local anglers suspect the fish may have been collateral damage from haul seine nets. Mike Krause at Okeechobee Fishing Headquarters explained that haul seine boats were working that […]

Scientists, anglers want more Lake O testing

OKEECHOBEE — Scientists, anglers and Lake Okeechobee residents would like to see more testing of the waters of Lake Okeechobee. Environmental groups and coastal residents have also called for more testing. To solve the concerns about cyanobacteria (also known as blue green algae) in the big lake, more information is needed about where, when and […]

4-Hers, airboaters honored for cleanup

4-H Sharpshooters and the Lake Okeechobee Airboaters Association were recognized for their efforts to clean up Lake Okeechobee as part of their annual Earth Day community service project. “Too many times we have unsung heroes,” said County Commissioner Bryant Culpepper. “What the airboaters have done and what the Sharpshooters have done is worked in conjunction […]