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 […]

Corps considers changes to lake schedule; Public meetings planned in Okeechobee and Clewiston

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District invites the public to provide scoping input on the development of the new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM). A series of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) public scoping meetings will be held throughout south Florida during the month of February and public scoping comments will be […]

FWC suspends aquatic spraying; sportsmen cautiously happy

A virtual celebration broke out last week in the internet forums of many different groups concerned about the chemical spraying of aquatic plants on lakes, rivers and canals. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission temporarily halted aquatic spraying on Jan. 28. There was an especially joyous reaction in the lake region, with sportsmen and […]

Lake Okeechobee water level falling due to evaporation

OKEECHOBEE — “Why are they letting all the water out of the lake?” A common complaint this time of year comes from newcomers and visitors who don’t seem to understand that it’s Mother Nature — not water managers — lowering the lake level, by sending water into the atmosphere through evaporation and evapotranspiration and into […]

Uproar about aquatic spraying unaffected by halt; environmentalists, sportsmen express joy clouded by skepticism

OKEECHOBEE — A virtual celebration has broken out in the internet forums of many different groups concerned about the aquatic spraying that’s been taking place on lakes around Florida over the suspension of the state’s program beginning next week. There’s been an especially joyous reaction in this region, with sportsmen and clean water advocates expressing […]

FWC to suspend aquatic spraying

CLEWISTON — In response to public complaints and concerns about chemical spraying to control aquatic plants, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission will temporarily suspend the aquatic herbicide spraying program. On Jan. 23, Ramon Iglesias, who has been active in the movement to halt aquatic spraying, shared a letter online that he received from Kipp […]

State of Florida encouraged to ‘go to war on algae’

OKEECHOBEE — “We have to protect Lake Okeechobee. The water and the nutrients are coming from the north. It doesn’t make any sense to clean it going south. We have to focus on the source of the water, clean it there and store it there to reduce the flow to the lake. That is just […]

Red tide fed by runoff into river, FGCU researcher reveals

OKEECHOBEE — Nitrates from fertilizer were a major contributor to last summer’s red tide on Florida’s Gulf Coast, and car exhaust may also play a role, according to research conducted by Florida Gulf Coast University. Red tide is a higher-than-normal concentration of a naturally occurring, microscopic algae called Karenia brevis. This algae produces brevetoxins that […]

Lower water level benefits lake’s ecology

OKEECHOBEE — After Hurricane Irma hit South Florida in September 2017, the water level in Lake Okeechobee rose to a high of 17 feet. That high water level had a devastating effect on all the submerged vegetation on the lake, including hydrilla, eel grass and pepper grass, which grow best at around a lake level […]

SFWMD orders independent scientific review of lake issues

WEST PALM BEACH – The South Florida Water Management District Governing Board wants science to determine any changes to the Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS). At their Jan. 10 meeting in West Palm Beach, the board authorized entering into a contract with the University of Florida Board of Trustees for an independent scientific review to […]