Title: Kissimmee River Water Boundary Review
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 Material Information
Title: Kissimmee River Water Boundary Review
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Language: English
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Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
 Notes
Abstract: Letter To: L.M. "Buddy" Blain From: Terry E. Wilkinson, Chief Bureau of Survey and Mapping Division of State Lands October 11, 1992
General Note: Box 9, Folder 10 ( SF- Safe Upland Line - 1967 and 1992 ), Item 4
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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Bibliographic ID: WL00001883
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text


I Lawton Chiles
Governor
Jim Smith
) FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES s.Bete of Srte
Bob Bttenrorth
Marjory Stoneiman Douglas Building Attorney General
A 3900 Commonwealth Boulevard Gerad Lewis
virgIa .wetaren allahassee, Florida 32399 State Comptrller
eethe Director Tn Gallagher
State leMasurer
/I Bob Crawford
October 21, 1992 Commaioner of Agriculture
Betty Castor
Commissioner of Education

Mr. L. M. "Buddy" Blain
Blain & Cone, P.A.
202 Madison Street
Tampa, Florida 33602

SUBJECT: Kissimmee River Water Boundary Review


Dear Mr. Blain:

We are presently reviewing the location of several stage duration
elevation locations along the Kissimmee River. We plan to
correlate this information with transects that the South Florida
Water Management District will run in the near future and meander
lines run during the original federal government survey of
Florida.

When complete, this information will be available to you and
other interested parties.

As you requested last Friday, I am transmitting with this letter
the 1976 Bishop and Schneider Report on the ordinary high water
line of the River. Also included is the Bishop & Schneider
Report on the ordinary high water line of Lake Kissimmee.

Sincerely,



Terry Wilkinson, Chief
Bureau of Survey and Mapping
Division of State Lands

TEW/sm
Attachment
cc: Ms. Virginia B. Wetherell
Mr. Percy W. Mallison
Ms. Diana Dartland


Law Eforcement Marine Resore Recreation and Parks


Resource Management State Lands


Administration Beaches ad Shores










FLORIDA LAKES



PART I
A STUDY OF THE HIGH WATER LINES OF
SOME FLORIDA LAKES
By
E. W. BISHOP




PART II
A TENTATIVE CLASSIFICATION OF
LAKE SHORELINES
By
E. W. BISHOP









FLORIDA BOARD OF CONSERVATION
RANDOLPH HODGES, Director

DIVISION OF WATER RESOURCES
A. O. PATrrESON, Director

Tallahassee, Florida
1967


sGr- -%L t^ d- Ll',u


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tBe period of record, the control for V lake was a
sand bar in the outlet. Two profile sections were sur-
veved on February 3, 1966. The lake stage at the time
of'the surveys was 71.16 feet above mean sea level.
Profile section 1 (Figure 37) was surveyed on the
>est side of the lake in the NEL, SW% sec. 30, T. 35S.,
7R. 29E. The high water line based on the landward
termination of stratified beach deposits is 72.1 feet
above mean sea level.
Profile section 2 (Figure 38) was surveyed on the
east side of the lake in the NW1, NW' sec. 34, T. 35S.,
R. 29E. The high water line based on the landward
termination of stratified beach deposits is 72.03 feet
above mean sea level.
The high water line on Lake Josephine is 72.1 feet
above mean sea level. During the period from Jan-
uary, 1947 to September, 1964, the lake has stood
above the high water line 25 percent of the time, indi-
cating that the lake has been permanently raised. For
the stage-duration curve, see Figure 39.

LAKE JUNE.IN.WINTER Highlands County
Lake June-in-Winter has a surface area of 5.72
square miles and a drainage area of 44.0 square miles.
Since March, 1955, the lake level has been controlled
by a sheet pile, stop-log control in Steams Creek. Two
profile sections were surveyed and are included in
this report.
Profile section 1 (Figure 40) was surveyed February
, 1966, on the northwest side of the lake in the NW},
9 sec. 28, T. 36S., R. 29E. The lake stage at the
ime of the survey was 74.69 feet above mean sea
level. The high water line based on the landward
termination of stratified beach deposits is 75.4 feet
above mean sea level.
Profile section 2 (Figure 41) was surveyed February
26,1966, on the southeast side of the lake in the NWV,
NEI sec. 11, T. 37S., R. 29E. The lake stage at the
time of the survey was 74.69 feet above mean sea level.
The high water line based on the landward termination
of stratified beach deposits is 75.5 feet above mean
sea level.
The average of the two determinations of the high
water line for Lake June-in-Winter is 75.45 feet above
mean sea level. During the period from April, 1945 to
September, 1964, the lake stood at or above the high
water line about 6% percent of the time. For the
stage-duration curve, see Figure 42.

LAKE KERR Marion County
Lake Kerr has a surface area of approximately four
square miles and a drainage area of about 60 square
miles. The lake has no surface outlet. The profile"
section (Figure 43) was surveyed September 14, 1965,


on the south side of thl e 330 feet west of the U. S.
Geological Survey water-sage recording station in the
NM sec. 26, T. 13S., R. 25E. The lake stage at the time
of the survey was 25.86 feet above mean sea level.
The high water line based on the landward termination
of stratified beach deposits is 25.25 feet above mean
sea level. During the period from April,-1936 to De-
cember, 1951, and from January, 1956 to September,
1965, the lake stood above the high water line 16 per-
cent of the time. For the stage-duration curve, see
Figure 44.

KINGSLEY LAKE- Clay County
Kingsley Lake has a surface area of 2.54 square miles
and a drainage area of 6.84 square miles. The outlet
of the lake has a fixed concrete weir with an average
crest elevation of about 175 feet above mean sea level.
The profile section (Figure.45) was surveyed October
4, 1965, on the south shore .of the lake in the NE},
NE; sec. 28, T.6S., R. 23E. The lake stage at the
time of the survey was 176.15 feet above mean sea
level. The high water line based on the highest zone
of beach stratification is at 177 feet above mean sea
level. During the period from April, 1947 to Septem-
ber, 1964, the lake surface stood at or above the high
water line five percent of the time. For the stage-
duration curve, see Figure 46.

LAKE KISSIMMEE Polk County
Lake Kissimmee has a surface area of 54.2 square
miles, and a drainage area of 1,604 square miles. Dur-
ing the period of record used in this study, the lake
had no artificial control The profile section (Figure
47) was surveyed March 22, 1966, -on the southwest
side of the lake in the NW' sec. 30, T. 30S., R. 31E.
The lake stage at the time of the survey was 53.28 feet
above mean sea level. The high water line based on
the landward termination of a zone of very carbo-
naceous lake deposits is 53.75 feet above mean sea
level. During the period from October, 1942 to Sep-
tember, 1957, the lake stood above the high water line
nine percent of the time. For the stage-duration curve,
see Figure 48.

LAKE LETTA Highlands County
Lake Letta has a surface area of 0.74 square miles,
and a drainage area of 15.6 square miles. The lake is
controlled by a small concrete dam with removable
boards. The profile section (Figure 49) was surveyed
March 2, 1966, on the southwest side of the lake in the
SEL, NE!' sec. 1, T. 34S., R. 28E. The lake stage at
the time of the survey was 99.66 feet above mean
sea level. The high water line based on the landward
termination of a zone of beach stratification is 100.6


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Figure 47. Shoreline Profile, Lake Kissimmee, Polk County.



58

57------
S \. RECORD USED: Daily averages, October 1942
-to September 1957
i 55 I

3 54
53 Bigh WatJ Line



L.
50
w 50







0 46
48
I ----







0 10 20 30 4C 50 60 70 80 90 100
PERCENT OF TIME
Figure 48. Stage-Duration Curve, Lake Kissimmee, Polk County.






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PRE-REGULATION ORDINARY HIGH WATER ELEVATIONS ALONG THE
KISSIMMEE RIVER: A PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION


By


Douglas L. Schneider
Bureau of Coastal and Land Boundaries

and

Ernest W. Bishop
Bureau of Geology

December 14, 1976


INTRODUCTION


The subject of this report is the determination of ordinary

high water elevations, such as existed prior to the onset of

regulation in 1964, at selected sites on the Kissimmee River.

From the determined elevations, ordinary high water elevations

can be calculated by proration for the entire length of the

Kissimmee River from Lake Kissimmee to Lake Okeechobee. If

necessary, further studies can refine the ordinary high water

elevations along the river by determinations at additional points.

When Florida was admitted to the Union, the State was

granted title to the submerged lands beneath navigable rivers.

The legal boundary between sovereignty submerged lands owned by

the state and uplands susceptible to private ownership is the

ordinary high water line. In 1881, the State of Florida Trustees








of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund entered into a contract

with Hamilton Disston et al., to drain and permanently to re-

claim for agriculture lands east of the Peace River including

those adjacent to the Kissimmee River. Therefore, the boundary

abutting the Kissimmee River in the state conveyances made in

the late nineteenth and early twentieth century was intended to

be the post-drainage ordinary high water line. Since Florida

courts recognize the ordinary high water line as ambulatory in

character, any lowering of the water level of the Kissimmee

River since the Disston drainage operation would be considered

reliction and would alter the line to lower elevations. There-

fore, the ordinary high water line as it existed before the on-

set regulation is the one of interest in determining the extent

of state ownership prior..to the channelization of the river.

Actually, the Kissimmee River is generally .believed to have been

in an unaltered natural state prior to channelization.

Three sites were investigated along the length of the

Kissimmee River: south of Structure S-65, at Fort Kissimmee

and at S.R. 70. The first site is located where Lake Kissimmee

greatly narrowed to form the Kissimmee River proper; the second

40.5 miles upstream from the mouth of the channelized river

between Structures S-65A and S-65B; the third 1.6 miles upstream

from S-65E and 9.7 miles upstream from the mouth. The results

found at the first site'should describe not only the pre-regula-

tion ordinary high water elevation for the beginning of the

Kissimmee River proper but'also that of Lake Kissimmee. Both


-L,IHF ._J




J d- i .ll I


authors, Bishop (1967) and Schneider (1976), have made previous

studies of the pre-regulation ordinary high water elevation of

Lake Kissimmee.

METHODS

On September 14-15, 1976, field work related to the ordi-

nary high water determinations was done on the Kissimmee River:

the sites south of Structure S-65 and at Fort Kissimmee were

visited the first day and the site at S.R. 70 the second. Be-

cause of a problem with the level data, the site south of

Structure S-65 was revisited on October 26, by Schneider.

Three temporary bench marks were established at the site

south of Structure S-65, and one temporary bench mark at each

of the two remaining sites. The elevations of these bench

marks in feet above national geodetic vertical da.tum were deter-

mined from level runs made by the Precise Leveling Section of

the Bureau of Coastal and Land Boundaries. The temporary bench

marks were used to obtain river levels, elevations of selected

tree bases and elevations of soil layers.

GEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE

The basic lithology of all three sites is the same: fine

grained quartz-sand deposited off shore on a shallow bottom dur-

ing high stands of Pleistocene seas. The sand is highly uniform

in its fineness and contains a very low percentage of accessory

minerals.

The principal post depositional changes have been the cut-

ting and filling of the Kissimmee River Valley and the deposi-

tion of organic material in the interstices (hardpan) and on








top (peat) of the flood plain deposits of fine sand. The term

"flood plain" is probably a misnomer as hydrologically the pre-

regulation Kissimmee River exhibited more characteristics of a

lake than a river. As the term implies, flood plains are in-

undated only during the flooding of streams whereas the flood

plain deposits of the Kissimmee were under water most of the

time.

Carbonaceous hardpan in the banks of the river valley is

a reliable indicator of the normal range of fluctuations of

the river stage and the immediately adjacent ground water table.

The upper surface of this material is the pre-regulation high

water mark at-any given point along the river bank. Peat de-

posits, where they are still preserved, are also good indicators

provided that elevations of these deposits are determined where

they wedge out against.the uplands.

The pre-regulation high water mark at Fort Kissimmee was

based upon the upper sharply defined surface of a very carbon-

aceous hardpan underlying a sand layer leached of all carbon-

aceous material.

The pre-regulation high water mark at S.R. 70 was also

based upon the upper surface of carbonaceous hardpan.

The pre-regulation high water mark at the Padgett Ranch

near S-65 was based upon the upper surface of a thin layer of

compressed peat overlain by slope wash of fine quartz sand.








The site south of Structure S-65 presents a special pro-

blem. As at the other sites, the upper surface of the peat

layer was below the lower edge of upland trees in the vicinity.

The measured elevation of 52.62 feet for the surface of the

peat layer was confirmed by the cross-checking of permanent

bench marks near Structure S-65 by the Precise Leveling Section;

however, this elevation is very different from previously deter-

mined pre-regulation ordinary high water elevations for Lake

Kissimmee. On the basis of geological evidence, Bishop (1967)

concluded that the elevation was 53.75 feet. Schneider (1976)

based his elevation of 53.4 feet on vegetative evidence. Since

the lake flows out to the south, ordinary high water elevations

based on evidence from the southern extremity might conceivably

be a tenth or two below a determination based on evidence from

the northern portion; however, the discrepancy is too great to

be explained at this time.- Further field research both above .

and below Structure S-65 could provide an answer. Since the

ordinary high water elevation south of Structure S-65 should

be the same as that for Lake Kissimmee, the lake elevation of

53.4 feet has been accepted as the ordinary high water elevation

for the beginning of the Kissimmee River proper (Table 1).

Table 1. Ordinary high water elevations along the Kissimmee

River.
Ordinary High Water
Distance From Moutha .Elevation Slopea
(it (miles) (Ft. NGVD) (ft/mile)


South of Structure S-65 96 53.4
At Fort Kissimmee 70.5 46.9 0.25
At S.R. 70 16 24.8 1.41

a Along old channel.








BIOLOGICAL EVIDENCE

All three sites were similar: trees, mainly live oaks

(Quercus virginiana), grew at elevations considerably above

current river levels and somewhat higher than the investigated

soil changes indicative of standing water. Live oaks are up-

land trees that are killed or injured by water standing over

the roots for extended periods. The lowest live oak found at

the site south of Structure S-65 was a 1.05-foot diameter tree

growing at an elevation of 53.74 feet. At Fort Kissimmee, the

lowest live oak was a 1.3-foot diameter treesituated at an'

elevation of 47.27. feet. ....Alower upland tree;was encountered ..

at this site: aa-persimmon' (Diaospyros:virginiana) .with::a dia-.

meter;of- 0.'v25: foot-.was- growing ratf46.24 feet.-.;The. _small: size .

of this tree means that it .probably .became established during

the post-regulation period:-or.'during the three dry years pre-

ceding--the onset' of regulation. A 1.05-foot live oak located

at an elevation of 25.26 feet was the lowest upland tree located

at site at S.R. 70.

CONCLUSION

Vegetation and soil layers were examined at three sites on

the Kissimmee River to determine the pre-regulation ordinary

high water elevations. -At Fort Kissimmee and at S.R. 70, the

high water mark as indicated by the position of upland trees

was above the level indicated by soil changes; therefore, the

ordinary high water elevation at each site was based upon the

upper limit of wetland soils (Table 1).


* 9







The slope given in the table on the previous page allow

the ordinary high-water elevation to be prorated for any point

along: the old river channel. Information on prorations using

Canal C-38, the channelized river, is given in Appendix I.

To illustrate the amount of land below the pre-regulation

ordinary high water elevation, cross-sections were drawn of

the Kissimmee River floodplain at the three sites (see attached

sheets). Floodplain elevations were based primarily on as built

profile information supplied by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Additional information was taken from USGS topographic maps.

REFERENCES

Bishop, E.W. 1967. Florida lakes. Florida Board of Conservation,
Division of Water Resources. Tallahassee. 62 p.

Schneider, Douglas L. 1976. Pre-regulation Ordinary High Water
Elevations of Five Major Lakes of the Kissimmee Chain:
East Tohopekaliga, Tohopekaliga, Cypress,-Hatchineha-- -
and Kissimmee. Florida Department of Natural Resources,
Bureau of Coastal and Land-.Boundaries (Unpublished) ..'-






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PRE-REGULATION ORDINARY HIGH WATER ELEVATIONS OF FIVE MAJOR
LAKES E- KISSIMMEE CHAIN: EAST TOHOPEKALIGA,
TOHOPEKALIGA, CYPRESS, HATCHINEHA AND KISSIMMEE


Douglas L. Schneider


Boundary Determination Section
Bureau of Coastal and Land Boundaries

September 2, 1976


INTRODUCTION


The subject of this report is the ordinary high water eleva-

tions, such as existed prior to the onset of regulation in 1964,

of five major lakes of the Kissimmee headwaters chain. Regulation

of these lakes has effectively curtailed flood peaks. Since Florida

courts recognize lake bottom reclaimed by such regulation by govern-

mental agencies as artificial reliction, the title to all such re-

claimed lake bottom remains in the State. The post-regulation

ordinary high water elevations of the five lakes are dealt with in

two earlier reports: "Ordinary High Water Elevations of Four Major

Lakes of the Kissimmee Chain" and "Ordinary High Water Elevation

of Cypress Lake, Osceola and Polk Counties." Both reports contain

background material that is not discussed in this report. The field

data used below were collected at the same time as field data used

in the earlier reports.

In 1881, the State of Florida Trustees of the Internal Improve-

ment Trust Fund entered into the first contract with Hamilton Disston

et al. The intent of the contract was to drain and permanently re-

claim for agriculture lands adjacent to the Kissimmee River and

elsewhere. Therefore, when the State subsequently conveyed lands




.- I i 1


around the Kissimmee chain of lakes in the late nineteenth and

early twentieth century, the'lakeward boundary of the conveyance

was intended to be the post-drainage ordinary high water line.

In accordance with recognized riparian law, any subsequent decline

in the water levels after the establishment of the post-drainage

levels is considered reliction and the ordinary high water-line,

which is ambulatory in nature, is altered to a lower elevation.

Since the lower limit of upland trees around a lake is regulated

by the high water levels, this limit has long been recognized by

courts as a valid criterion for determining the ordinary high water

elevation and is the criterion applied to the five lakes discussed

below.


PRE-REGULATION ORDINARY HIGH WATER ELEVATIONS

Upland trees are those that are killed on injured by water

standing over the roots for extended periods. The lowest trees

around the five lakes that fit this criterion are live oak

(Quercus virginiana). The lowest live oak tree that definitely

was established prior to the onset of regulation is given for

each lake below (Table 1). On each lake live oaks grew upward of

the lowest tree to the crest of the old berm. On two lakes, Cypress

Lake and Lake Kissimmee, small live oaks were found at 52.53 and

52.46 feet respectively; however, the size of these trees indicated

that they had become established either after the onset of regula-

tion or no-later than the three dry years proceeding regulation.









Table 1. Elevation of lowest upland trees.


.: Elevation of lowest Tree Diameter
Lake live oak (ft. NGVD) (ft.)


East Lake Tohopekaliga 60.07 1.85

Lake Tohopekaliga 57.03 2.7

Cypress Lake 54.06 0.95

Lake Hatchineha ": 53.92 2.0

Lake Kissimmee 53.35 2.95

53.35 2.05


r
The pre-regulation ordinary high water elevations derived from

the vegetative data are presented in Table 2. Benchmarks referenced

to these elevations are found in the two reports referred to above.

Table 2. Pre-regulation ordinary high water elevations.


Lake


East Lake Tohopekaliga

Lake Tohopekaliga

Cypress Lake

Lake Hatchineha

Lake Kissimmee


Ordinary High Water Elevation (ft.NGVD)


60.1

57.0

54.1

53.9

53.4


Ernie Bishop (1967) studied three of these lakes as part of a

project exploring geological criteria that could be used to deter-

mine the ordinary high water elevation. Because benchmarks and

staff gages in this definitely do require checking for reliability,


----~--


,.,,,,










his ordinary high water elevations are presented for comparative

purposes only. The ordinary,high water elevations were: Lake

Tohopekaliga, 56.5 feet; Lake Hatchineha, 54.3 feet; and Lake

Kissimmee, 53.75 feet. These elevations are in reasonable agree-

ment with ones given in this report.

REFERENCES


Bishop, Ernie. 1967. Florida Lakes. Part I. A study of the
high water lines of some Florida lakes. Florida Board of
Conservation, Division of Water Resources, Tallahassee.
pp. 1-47.

Schneider, Douglas L. and Karen L. Busen. Ordinary High Water
of Cypress Lake, Osceola and Polk Counties. Florida Depart-
ment of Natural Resources, Bureau of Coastal and Land
Boundaries, Tallahassee. (Unpublished)

Schneider, Douglas L. and Karen L. Busen. Ordinary High Water
Elevations of sour major lakes of the Kissimmee Chain:
East Tohopekaliga, Tohopekaliga, Hatchineha and Kissimmee
Florida Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Coastal
and Land Boundaries, Tallahassee. (Unpublished)





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