Pass
Rating icon - Chlorophyll a Rating icon - Total Nitrogen Rating icon - Total Phosphorous Rating icon - Dissolved Oxygen Saturation

4 out of 4 indicators were rated as PASS.

All four indicators must pass for the creek to be rated as PASS.

Learn more about how this report is created

  • Size: 4,967 acres
  • Location: North Sarasota County, south Manatee County
  • Discharges into: Sarasota Bay

Whitaker Bayou is a highly urbanized basin that has changed in land use and hydrology since the mid-1900s. The Sarasota County 1847 General Land Office Survey indicates that Whitaker Bayou only extended about a quarter of a mile inland from the bay. The survey also displays a separate waterway that extends inland from 0.25 mile northeast of the head of Whitaker Bayou. Seasonal patterns in freshwater inflows have not changed significantly between historic and current conditions, indicating that changes in land use have not altered the intra-annual pattern of inflows to the bay. Land use has, however, affected the magnitude of total inflow to the bay, if not the relative contributions of individual sources (runoff, baseflow, irrigation, point sources). For full basin details see: Sarasota Bay Water Quality Management Plan (2012)

Whitaker Bayou

Whitaker Bayou

Water Chemistry Ratings | Freshwater Portion of the Creek

Creek Conditions Ratings are based on comparing nitrogen, phosphorus, chlorophyll and dissolved oxygen to water quality guidelines or regulations. Florida law defines a maximum allowable concentration of nitrogen, phosphorus, and chlorophyll a, and a minimum allowable concentration of dissolved oxygen in these streams. Learn more about these ratings and how they are calculated »

Data for the following WBIDs is averaged when compiling the data below:
  • 1936A
Chart Legend
  • Trend Line
  • Annual Mean
  • Threshold
Pass

Chlorophyll a

Score: Pass
Units: mg/l Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 0.014 0.0595
Mean 0.0016 0.0018 0.00539017
Low 0.0003 0.00
No. of Samples 22 577

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean
Pass

Nitrogen, Total

Score: Pass
Units: mg/l Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 1.87 15.76
Mean 1.1149 0.9104 1.55764296
Low 0.757 0.30
No. of Samples 16 338

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean
Pass

Phosphorus, Total

Score: Pass
Units: mg/l Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 0.462 2.38
Mean 0.2356 0.3046 0.22873997
Low 0.094 0.082
No. of Samples 18 591

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean
Pass

Dissolved Oxygen Saturation

Note: Low DO saturation also may be naturally influenced by inflows from nearby wetlands or groundwater sources.
Score: Pass
Units: percent (%) Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 124.00 262.30
Mean 64.08 84.82 42.34723
Low 29.00 7.0588
No. of Samples 18 701

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

BOD, Biochemical oxygen demand

Units: mg/l Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 1.00 175.00
Mean 0.75 0.88 17.40572
Low 0.50 0.50
No. of Samples 13 525

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Color

Units: PCU Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 100.00 220.00
Mean 54.01 74.54 34.39869
Low 40.00 20.00
No. of Samples 11 135

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Escherichia coli

Units: cfu/100ml Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 8664.00 14136.00
Mean 2069.6 3994.05 3707.1822
Low 97.00 97.00
No. of Samples 13 27

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Nitrogen, Ammonia + Ammonium as N

Units: ug/l Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 120.00 30060.00
Mean 32.38 20.08 2181.43686
Low 8.00 0.008
No. of Samples 8 650

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Nitrogen, Kjeldahl

Units: ug/l Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 1480.00 15360.00
Mean 875.29 780.27 1119.46347
Low 581.00 200.00
No. of Samples 18 634

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Nitrogen, Nitrite + Nitrate as N

Units: ug/l Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 570.00 1020.00
Mean 216.59 80.7 159.21007
Low 31.00 0.00
No. of Samples 17 604

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

pH

Units: None Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 8.02 11.77
Mean 7.59 7.67 0.37242
Low 7.00 6.10
No. of Samples 31 851

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Salinity

Units: PSS Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 23.40 23.40
Mean 0.62 0.39 1.5444
Low 0.20 0.00
No. of Samples 15 691

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Specific conductance

Units: umho Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 41859.00 49645.00
Mean 1501.51 660.17 4795.43444
Low 444.00 0.524
No. of Samples 18 892

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Temperature, water

Units: deg F Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 86.27 91.40
Mean 72.98 69.17 9.37022
Low 55.202 14.018
No. of Samples 17 777

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Turbidity

Units: NTU Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 7.20 56.40
Mean 1.66 2.93 5.24917
Low 0.61 0.50
No. of Samples 18 657

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean
Other Measures of Creek Health:

Water Chemistry Ratings | Tidal Portion of the Creek

Creek Conditions Ratings are based on comparing nitrogen, phosphorus, chlorophyll and dissolved oxygen to water quality guidelines or regulations. Florida law defines a maximum allowable concentration of chlorophyll a and a minimum allowable concentration of dissolved oxygen in these streams. Florida has no regulatory thresholds for nitrogen or phosphorus in tidal creeks so trends are used to rate the creeks. Learn more about these ratings and how they are calculated »

Data for the following WBIDs is averaged when compiling the data below:
  • 1936
Chart Legend
  • Trend Line
  • Annual Mean
  • Threshold
Pass

Chlorophyll a

Score: Pass
Units: mg/l Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 0.1 0.1
Mean 0.0069 0.0121 0.0246145
Low 0.0005 0.0004
No. of Samples 13 195

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Nitrogen, Total

We were unable to determine a trend for the data available.
Units: mg/l Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 1.8 7.0
Mean 1.4025 1.1493 1.45761898
Low 0.873 0.054
No. of Samples 6 136

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Phosphorus, Total

We were unable to determine a trend for the data available.
Units: mg/l Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 0.3 2.0
Mean 0.1999 0.2371 0.3925048
Low 0.054 0.038
No. of Samples 10 239

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean
Pass

Dissolved Oxygen Saturation

Note: Low DO saturation also may be naturally influenced by inflows from nearby wetlands or groundwater sources
Score: Pass
Units: percent (%) Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 104.0 381.3
Mean 63.2 63.34 30.11803
Low 21.50 0.00
No. of Samples 13 582

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

BOD, Biochemical oxygen demand

Units: mg/l Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 9.7 12.7
Mean 1.94 2.41 2.23386
Low 1.00 0.543
No. of Samples 13 182

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Color

Units: PCU Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 110.0 200.0
Mean 40.74 53.4 28.93326
Low 20.00 10.00
No. of Samples 11 145

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Enterococcus Group Bacteria

Units: cfu/100ml Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 1,600.0 4,800.0
Mean 160.67 236.78 1252.52508
Low 20.00 20.00
No. of Samples 13 27

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Nitrogen, Ammonia + Ammonium as N

Units: ug/l Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 155.0 1,930.0
Mean 89.5 14.97 185.25994
Low 8.00 0.00
No. of Samples 6 289

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Nitrogen, Kjeldahl

Units: ug/l Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 1,800.0 6,291.0
Mean 865.93 871.17 925.70304
Low 509.00 50.00
No. of Samples 13 285

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Nitrogen, Nitrite + Nitrate as N

Units: ug/l Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 350.0 3,275.0
Mean 80.57 68.46 359.50627
Low 4.00 4.00
No. of Samples 6 237

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

pH

Units: None Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 8.2 8.8
Mean 7.84 7.61 0.40643
Low 7.50 4.90
No. of Samples 26 2,852

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Salinity

Units: PSS Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 34.2 45.0
Mean 31.74 6.01 15.34878
Low 28.00 0.00
No. of Samples 13 2,890

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Specific conductance

Units: umho Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 52,080.0 55,760.0
Mean 48843.11 7227.77 22667.68254
Low 44091.00 320.00
No. of Samples 13 2,696

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Temperature, water

Units: deg F Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 91.0 95.5
Mean 77.12 74.54 6.10831
Low 59.126 49.10
No. of Samples 12 3,033

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Turbidity

Units: NTU Year
2016
Historical
period of record
High 12.0 31.3
Mean 4.29 3.84 3.31287
Low 2.50 0.62
No. of Samples 13 551

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean
Other Measures of Creek Health:

Oysters

Because they are immobile and will tolerate a fairly wide salinity range, eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) are valuable as an indicator of the relative health of aquatic ecosystems in the tidally-influenced portions of coastal creeks. Sarasota County has established an oyster monitoring program to track the location, types, and status of oyster reefs. Data from this monitoring program is shown below. Learn more about Oysters »

Loading oyster site map...

Impervious Features

Whitaker Bayou is located within the Sarasota Bay Watershed. View details about the Sarasota Bay Watershed »

Rain that falls on land that is in a natural state is absorbed and filtered by soils and vegetation as it makes it way into underground aquifers. However, in developed areas, "impervious surfaces" impede this process and contribute to polluted urban runoff entering surface waters. These surfaces include human infrastructure like roads, sidewalks, driveways and parking lots that are covered by impenetrable materials such as asphalt, concrete, brick and stone, as well as buildings and other permanent structures. Soils that have been disturbed and compacted by urban development are often impervious as well. Learn more about Impervious Features »

The Sarasota County Stormwater Environmental Utility (SEU) mapped impervious surfaces in the County in 2013. A map showing impervious surfaces can be viewed using the Water Atlas Map Viewer tool.

27% of the land area within the Whitaker Bayou Basin is covered by impervious surfaces

Impervious Surface Coverage by Type

Land Use / Land Cover

Whitaker Bayou is located within the Sarasota Bay Watershed. View details about the Sarasota Bay Watershed »

Land use within a creek's watershed has a major effect on its water quality. In general, less development means better water quality. Land Cover/Land Use classifications categorize land in terms of its observed physical surface characteristics (e.g. upland or wetland), and also reflect the types of activity that are taking place on it (agriculture, urban/built-up, utilities, etc.). Florida uses as its standard a set of statewide classifications which were developed by the Florida Department of Transportation. Learn more about Land Use and Land Cover »

Acreage and Percentage within each Land Use / Land Cover Category for Whitaker Bayou Basin
Land Use Classification 1990 2011 2014 Trend
Urban & Built-up 3,83077.1% 3,95279.6% 3,92179% Land Use Trend Sparkline
Agriculture 2144.3% 1813.6% 1813.6% Land Use Trend Sparkline
Rangeland 40.1% 40.1% 40.1% Land Use Trend Sparkline
Upland Forests 2354.7% 1643.3% 1953.9% Land Use Trend Sparkline
Water 1302.6% 881.8% 881.8% Land Use Trend Sparkline
Wetlands 3156.4% 2224.5% 2224.5% Land Use Trend Sparkline
Transportation and Utilities 2384.8% 3567.2% 3567.2% Land Use Trend Sparkline
Land Use Chart