1 l 20-300-GOV-12-02
March 7, 1978
TO: JAY T. AHERN, Staff Attorney
FROM: WILLIAM D. COURSER, Supervisor, Environmental Section
RE: New England Oyster House of Lakeland vs. State of Florida,
Department of Natural Resources and Southwest Florida Water
Attached are our answers for the questions posed in the interrogatories
sent to us on 23 February 1978. Also attached are the results of our work
on Lake Parker.
The information we were to gather (agreed upon at the 19 January 1978 meeting)
was the above referenced work on Lake Parker, information about the soils
of the area, and information on the approval of methods used in the setting
of ordinary high-water marks. With reference to the soils, no soil survey
of the area has yet been made public by the Soil Conservation Service. We
suspect, based on the extensive development around and in the lake that little
or no redevelopment soils information exists. Any information from the
soils would thus be of minor importance.
In regard to the setting of lake boundaries, discussion with the Department
of Natural Resources Bureau of Coastal and Land Boundaries revealed that
there is no legally required method to set or find the ordinary high water
line. Additionally, there is no statute that requires use of the ordinary
high water line for determining ownership boundaries on lakes. The use of
ordinary high water line for boundary determinations has developed from
common law and case histories.
ANSWERS TO INTERROGATORIES
1. (a) We disagree with the conclusions of the document. The information
and data that were presented in the document were carefully and
professionally gathered. However, the application of that information
and data and the conclusions drawn is where we disagree.
The methodology (Document Section C METHOD) used (principally strati-
fied beach deposits) only determines the recent levels (1972-1977)
(Document Section A, Section C METHOD and CONCLUSION) of the lake.
It does not take into account whether or not drought or man's actions
have temporarily depressed lake levels.. The report admits the lake
has had higher levels (Document Section A, Section C DESCRIPTION
OF AREA AND HISTORY, Section A HYDROLOGY and Section C BOTANICAL
EVIDENCE). If one were to examine the lake for stratified beach
deposits during any particular five year period, a different eleva-
tion would almost certainly result.
The dry fibrous organic layer in the diagram (Site #1) at 129.7
to above 130.0 may have been laid down from littoral zone (wet
land) plants developed during former high water levels. It also
should be noted that organic deposits from the littoral zone can
extend out to several feet of water depth.
The. botanical evidence (Document Section C BOTANICAL EVIDENCE)
presented argues for a higher high water level. The conclusion
(Document Section CONCLUSION) that high water levels should always
be set below the lowest upland vegetation again does not take into
account the dynamics of weather conditions and plant response to
low and high water levels. The lowest upland plant (a long-leaf
pine at 130.36) is a recently established invader responding to
lower water levels caused by drought and manipulation of water levels
in the lake. A better indicator of average high water levels would
be the oaks and pines at about 132.5 feet. The same applies for
the littoral vegetation. Littoral (wetland) vegetation will advance
or recede with changing water levels. Additionally, the report does
not consider the cypress tree, a water level indicator, on the east
shore of the lake.
Finally, lakes do not recognize or conform to any water level. They
dynamically fluctuate in response to many physical forces. Plant
communities respond to this fluctuation. Without fluctuation, lakes
tend to degrade in water quality. Stabilizing lakes to a certain
average high water level 'will cause damage to the natural resources
of the lake.
1. (b) We disagree with the report conclusion for the following reasons:
1. The document reports only the ordinary high water for Lake
Parker over the most recent (1972-1977) five-year period.
The methodology used represents only the short term changes
and is not representative of the longer record. Any one drought
or any one rainy period would bias the results lower or higher.
1. (b) Cont'd.
2. The use of a young pine as the lowest upland vegetation does
not take into account the dynamics of weather conditions and
plant response to low and high water levels. A better indicator
6f average high water levels would be the older oaks and pines
at about 132.5 feet.
3. According to a Department of Natural Resource publication, the
ordinary high water line, based on stratified beach deposits,
generally corresponds with the lake stage equal or exceeded
about ten (10) per cent of the itme on a stage hydrograph. For
Lake Parker this would be in the range of 130.5 -131.0 feet.
2. To this date, we have not made a study or survey of any kind for the
purpose of determining the ordinary high water mark of Lake Parker.
(a) (d) Not applicable.
3. We believe Lake Parker's level should fluctuate over a range of elevations
that are indicated by many parameters. This evidence includes past stage
records (stage hydrograph and stage duration curve), rainfall records,
cultural development (docks, seawalls, etc., that were built directly
in response to lake levels), vegetation (both wetland and terrestrial),
canals, structures, stratified beach deposits and any hydrological,
biological or other data that may have been collected on the lake.
4. An average of high levels from 1974-1975 records should be calculated
to determine the ordinary high water rather than averaging all water
levels in those two years.
March 6, 1978
"FROM: Don F. Richters, Water Resource Specialist, Environmental Section
RE: Your Request for Regulation Stages for Lake Parker, S.8, T.28S.,
R.24E., Polk County
In response to your request, we are providing the following recommended
regulation stages for Lake Parker.
Flood Stage 132.00' M.S.L.
Max. Op. Stage 131.00' M.S.L.
Max. Des. Stage 130.75' M.S.L.
Min. Des. Stage 128.75' M.S.L.
Min. Op. Stage 127.50' M.S.L.
These stages are our recommended stages only and have not been officially adopted.
NAME OF LAKE .PEark_ Lake_ NUMBE"^"F OWNERS 3/4 Subdivided
LOCATION S. R8 .j 28.O R. .DATE OF FIELD CHECK_2/13/78
SIZE OF LAKE 2272 ACRES CHECKED BY Don Richters/Bill Courser
DRAINAGE AREA ?23.6 SQ. MI. LEVEL OF EFFORT USED I
BASIN Peace 20 COUNTY Polk LEVEL OF EFFORT RECOMMENDED I
REMARKS & RECOMMENDATIONS:
ELEVATIONS (FT. M.S.L.) REMARKS:
Flood 132.00' High Dock 34.10' One of 31 docks
Max. Op. 131.00' High Seawall 134.10' Two of 14 seawalls
Max. Des. 130.75' Low Dock 130.75' .Two of 31 docks
Min. Des. 128.75' Low Seawall 131.00'
Min. Op. 127. Low Floor Det rmin.Od
Drawn Low Rahot w/nana i-vei at Lk. Parker Ur. and-
MDrawdown Low Road 132.75' Tropical Way (on S.W. Shore)
information -rom Not
FLA. GAZETTEER 1969 YES NO Determined REMARKS:
*INLETS Fro Lake.Gibson to the orth and from a
T Laddo a e rom eas sore, as wa er
*STAFF GAGE X 0 0 apo' -
* *PUBLIC ACCESS X
AERIAL MAPPING X Polk Co. tax maps and Mark Hurd
DISCHARGE POINTS X ._____ o ral .naiscarieu. T(wr .c.tng
WITHDRAWAL POINTS X e above Also, water is pumped over Weir
_-WITHDRAWAL POINTS..... X.... into Lake Bonnvy .. .... .
SPRING FED X______
DRAINAGE WELLS _______________________________________
STORM DRAINAGF X ...JEFxtensive_ ...........
SINK HOLES X
DnREDGE HOLES Probably yes Extensive dragl.Ine work
ARTIFICIAL CANALS X ______. Not extensive
CONTROL STRUCTURE X At Moose Lodge on east shore also Weir in
C..... ..ONTROL STRUCTURE..____.__.. ranal tn Rnny nr sotrith shores.
FISH CAMPS X ___
PROPERTY OWNERS ASSO ___
AUGMENTATION WELLS X
NAME OF LAKE PiKKER, LAKE S.8, T.28S., r..24E.
1. 6" Below Lowest House Slab Not Dteprmined
2. Just below crops, plantings, or other Estimate of low road
RECOMMENDED ELEVATION 132.00'
MAX. OP. STAGE
1. Stage-duration curve (7%) 130.80' 131.00'
2. Vegetation N/AP
NOTE: Not to exceed 1' below lowest house slab
RECOMMENDED ELEVATION 13100'
MAX. DES. STAGE
1. Stage-duration curve (20%) 130.30' 130.47'
31 Docks 14 Seawalls
2. Docks & Seawalls 131.00' 131.66'
3. Residents desires Not Determined
4. Vegetation 130.25'
RECOMMENDED ELEVATION 130.75'
MIN. DES. STAGE
1. Stage-duration curve (87%) l?R.9q' 129 05'
31 Docks 14 Seawalls
2. Docks & Seawalls 128.50' 128.66'
3. Residents desires Not Determined
4. Vegetation N/AP
RECOMMENDED ELEVATION 128.75'
MIN. OP. STAGE
1. Stage-duration curve (95%) 128.70' 128.68'
2. Vegetation .1?7. 0'
RECOMMENDED ELEVATION 17 _.0'
REMARKS: Elevations are M.S.L.
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