Alternate Title

Biological Investigations of the St. Lucie Estuary (Florida) in Connection with Lake Okeechobee Discharges Through the St. Lucie Canal

Document Type



A survey of the turbidity, salinity and sediment effects of St. Lucie Canal discharge into the St. Lucie Estuary was authorized by the Chief of Engineers on May 9, 1955. Expansion of that program to include the work of the present biological investigation was authorized by the Chief of Engineers on June 12, 1956.

The scope and purpose of this biological work was to: (a) review the history of the St. Lucie Canal and analyze the problems concerned with discharges of fresh water into the St. Lucie Estuary: (b) present biological data from a 2-year investigation of estuarine conditions, January 1957 to January 1959; (c) determine the biological effects of operation of St. Lucie Lock and Dam with reference to important indicator species and evaluate the wide range of claimed damages relative thereto: and (d) determine operational procedures, practicable within the specific operational requirements of the project, which would either be beneficial or of the least damage to estuarine fishes and fishing conditions.

A report (Gunter, 1959) covering all sections of the work, but with particular reference to (c) and (d) was submitted to the Jacksonville District of the Corps of Engineers. The present paper covers enough of (a) to give a background for exposition of the biological work and gives an expanded presentation of the biological data.

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