Dry conditions will prompt the locks to be closed for safety reasons
WEST PALM BEACH — For boaters navigating to and from Lake Okeechobee, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) will soon close four navigation locks on the north shore for safety reasons. The imminent 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.
On April 14, the water level in Lake Okeechobee is 12.07 feet. When the lake falls below 12 feet, these locks along the north shore will be closed:
• Glades County: S-127 structure, Buckhead Ridge.
• Glades County: S-131 structure, Lakeport.
• Martin County: S-135 structure, J&S Fish Camp.
• Okeechobee County: G-36 structure, Henry Creek.
Also on the north shore, 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.
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.