Loss of aquatic vegetation means ‘the lake is hurting’

High water levels are hurting Lake Okeechobee’s ecological balance. Water Resources Director Terrie Bates explained the issue at the July 12 meeting of the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board. She said it is due to the lasting effects of Hurricane Irma, which churned the waters of the Big O and dumped enough rain […]

LOBA ramping up its social media activity

Amid all the noise being made over algae blooms and nutrient-stifled waterways supposedly originating from Lake Okeechobee, the Lake O Business Alliance has steadily been raising its profile online to counter what LOBA Founder/President Julia du Plooy of Clewiston calls misinformation wrongly aiming blame at the Big Lake’s farming communities. But, rather than redirect the […]

Algae bloom in Lake Okeechobee is shrinking

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Friday that the algal bloom on Lake Okeechobee has decreased to about 30 percent of the lake. In addition, about half of the bloom has decreased significantly in concentration. At its peak on July 2, the bloom had been in about 90 percent of the lake, according to […]

Water quality rally puts focus on lake

CLEWISTON — Floridians from the East and West coasts set out to rally at Clewiston’s Herbert Hoover Dike Boat Ramp on Saturday morning of July 14. Around a hundred participants organized as the “Save Our Fisheries Convoy,” lead by Josh Greer, a charter fishing guide from Punta Gorda. “I’m not here to protest, I’m not […]

NOAA imagery shows algal bloom decreasing

The latest images from space show the blue-green algal bloom on Lake Okeechobee is decreasing. Imagery from July 2 showed signs of cyanobacteria in 90 percent of Lake Okeechobee. Since the satellite images are only available at set intervals, NOAA was unable to get usable photos July 6-13 due to cloud cover. The July 14 […]

Cyanobacteria in water column, not on lake’s surface

The good news: The surface of Lake Okeechobee is NOT covered in blue-green algae, toxic or otherwise. The bad news: According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there is a large concentration of cyanobacteria (sometimes called “blue-green algae”) in the lake. According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, some of the samples […]

Lake O releases are put on hold

Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency Monday in Martin, St. Lucie, Palm Beach, Okeechobee, Lee, Glades and Hendry counties on both coasts of Florida because of algae blooms in the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers. The governor’s order gives state agencies more flexibility in managing fallout from the harmful algae blooms now […]

Public invited to comment on reservoir plan

Plans for a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee continue to move forward. The public had another chance to ask questions and comment on the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) reservoir project June 27 at a meeting in Clewiston sponsored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Similar meetings took place June 26 in LeHigh and June […]

Algae doesn’t affect Big O fishing

Local anglers report great fishing on lake The water may be green in some parts of the lake, but fishermen on both the north and south sides of Lake Okeechobee report the summer has been a good one for fishing. “The fishing is great,” said Mary Ann Martin of the Roland and Mary Ann Martin […]

Algal blooms reported throughout the area

Heavy rainfall in May and June followed by hot summer weather has led to increased reports of algal blooms and cyanobacteria blooms in South Florida. A combination of hot weather, low salinity, nitrogen and phosphorus can cause algae and cyanobacteria to grow rapidly; this is called a “bloom.” Laboratory tests are required to determine what […]