WEST PALM BEACH — With Lake Okeechobee levels falling below 11 feet, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) has closed the S-193 navigation lock at Taylor Creek in Okeechobee County for safety reasons. The four other navigation locks on the north shore have been closed since the lake fell below 12 feet in April, while S-193 had been operating on a weekend only basis.
The closure is a result of drought conditions that have reduced water levels in Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee Basin. Injury and lock damage could occur when boats pass through these structures at water levels below any of the designated safety limits.
Today, May 31, the water level in Lake Okeechobee is 10.98 feet. The following locks are all now closed:
• Okeechobee County: S-193 structure, Taylor Creek.
• Okeechobee County: G-36 structure, Henry Creek.
• Martin County: S-135 structure, J&S Fish Camp.
• Glades County: S-127 structure, Buckhead Ridge.
• Glades County: S-131 structure, Lakeport.
The S-193 lock at Taylor Creek in Okeechobee County will return to operations on Saturdays and Sundays between 5:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. when the lake returns to 11.51 feet. All other locks will reopen when the lake returns to 12.51 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.