Algal conditions in the Caloosahatchee River (1975-79), Lake Okeechobee to Franklin Lock, Florida

Water-Resources Investigations Report 81-81



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Maximum numbers of suspended algae occurred in late spring and early summer, in each of the years 1975-79, in the Caloosahatchee River. Numbers exceeded 100,000 cells per milliliter at all stations sometime during the study. Concentrations decreased during late summer and autumn and were low during winter, except in January 1979 when numbers at most sites exceeded 100,000 cells per milliliter. The January 1979 bloom coincided with large discharges from Lake Okeechobee. During previous winters, discharges and algal numbers were lower. During other seasons, algal blooms occurred most frequently under low-flow or stagnant conditions. The upstream site at Moore Haven, which had the least discharge and was most stagnant, had consistently higher algal concentrations than downstream sites. Blue-green algae were dominant in the river during the summer at the upstream site throughout the year. The percentage of blue-green algae decreased downstream. Concentrations of nitrite plus nitrate nitrogen were inversely correlated with concentrations of algae and decreased to near zero during algal blooms. The low concentrations of these forms of inorganic nitrogen relative to other major nutrients probably favor blue-green algae and limit growth of other algae. Contributions by the basin tributaries to the nutritive condition of the river were small because concentrations of nutrients, algal growth potential, and algae in the tributaries were generally less than those in the river. (USGS)

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Algal conditions in the Caloosahatchee River (1975-79), Lake Okeechobee to Franklin Lock, Florida
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Division,
v, 28 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.