Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Bathymetry, freshwater flow, and specific conductance of Matlacha Pass, southwestern Florida

December 12, 2021

The Matlacha Pass estuary, a State of Florida aquatic preserve, is bounded by Pine Island to the west, Cape Coral to the east, Charlotte Harbor to the north, and the Caloosahatchee River to the south (fig. 1). The estuary is important for its aesthetic value; used for recreational boating, sport and commercial fishing, tourism, and residential development; and is a nursery for fish and invertebrates.

Historically, freshwater runoff from Cape Coral entered Matlacha Pass estuary as sheetflow. As development occurred on Cape Coral, canals were designed and constructed to collect the freshwater runoff and distribute it as sheetflow through two spreader canal systems into Matlacha Pass. Water managers have expressed concern that altering the freshwater runoff patterns into the pass could have a detrimental effect on salinity distribution which might adversely affect the aquatic system of the pass. Adequate data were not available to evaluate the freshwater flow, its movement, and mixing. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the City of Cape Coral, Lee County, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, conducted a study from July 1989 to September 1992 to identify three hydrodynamic aspects for managing the estuary.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1995
Title Bathymetry, freshwater flow, and specific conductance of Matlacha Pass, southwestern Florida
DOI 10.3133/wri934057
Authors Gary M. Russell, Richard L. Kane
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series Number 93-4057
Index ID wri934057
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization