A minor algae bloom is lingering along the western rim of Lake Okeechobee, but the Caloosahatchee River looks relatively healthy and experts don’t expect to see a devastating blue-green algae bloom this summer.
“Right now we’re looking really good,” said Florida Gulf Coast University professor and researcher Barry Rosen. “There’s nothing to speak of in the lake and nothing is being reported at S79 at Franklin Lock (in Alva). There was a closure downstream but that’s it.”
Rosen said although there is some algae in parts of the lake, the amount and distribution of the bloom doesn’t concern him at this point.
Lake flows have been at zero recently, and Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani says the Army Corps should be given credit for keeping conditions healthy in the river this year.
“The Army Corps has been really flexible and that’s kept the flows ecologically reasonable,” Cassani said. “But the background issue is the water quality and the water flowing off the watershed is almost as bad as the water from the lake because there are agriculture operations in the upper basin.”