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

2 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
2012
Historical
period of record
High 0.0125 0.0595
Mean 0.002 0.002 0.00605547
Low 0.0003 0.00
No. of Samples 60 405

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean
Pass

Nitrogen, Total

Score: Pass
Units: mg/l Year
2012
Historical
period of record
High 1.441 15.76
Mean 0.8496 0.8935 1.73820124
Low 0.604 0.30
No. of Samples 20 268

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean
Pass

Phosphorus, Total

Score: Pass
Units: mg/l Year
2012
Historical
period of record
High 0.948 2.38
Mean 0.3248 0.3135 0.24626966
Low 0.105 0.082
No. of Samples 60 447

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
2012
Historical
period of record
High 262.30 262.30
Mean 90.66 85.11 43.86107
Low 26.20 7.0588
No. of Samples 57 561

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

BOD, Biochemical oxygen demand

Units: mg/l Year
2012
Historical
period of record
High 2.00 175.00
Mean 0.77 0.94 20.13934
Low 0.50 0.50
No. of Samples 54 390

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Color

Units: PCU Year
2012
Historical
period of record
High 220.00
Mean 76.7 34.68308
Low 20.00
No. of Samples 0 124

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Nitrogen, Ammonia + Ammonium as N

Units: ug/l Year
2012
Historical
period of record
High 216.00 30060.00
Mean 25.59 25.21 2481.1515
Low 8.00 0.0561
No. of Samples 60 501

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Nitrogen, Kjeldahl

Units: ug/l Year
2012
Historical
period of record
High 1140.00 15360.00
Mean 730.96 781.27 1263.70316
Low 592.00 200.00
No. of Samples 60 490

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Nitrogen, Nitrite + Nitrate as N

Units: ug/l Year
2012
Historical
period of record
High 418.00 1020.00
Mean 68.9 71.7 161.14529
Low 4.00 0.00
No. of Samples 60 458

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

pH

Units: None Year
2012
Historical
period of record
High 8.38 11.77
Mean 7.83 7.68 0.38881
Low 7.25 6.10
No. of Samples 57 706

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Salinity

Units: PSS Year
2012
Historical
period of record
High 0.44 20.48
Mean 0.32 0.4 1.0598
Low 0.25 0.00
No. of Samples 57 576

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Specific conductance

Units: umho Year
2012
Historical
period of record
High 899.00 48983.00
Mean 658.53 631.81 4240.2672
Low 508.00 0.524
No. of Samples 57 755

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Temperature, water

Units: deg F Year
2012
Historical
period of record
High 83.264 91.40
Mean 73.14 68.52 9.30806
Low 64.508 14.018
No. of Samples 38 665

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Turbidity

Units: NTU Year
2012
Historical
period of record
High 8.10 56.40
Mean 2.28 3.34 5.70129
Low 0.50 0.50
No. of Samples 60 514

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
Caution

Chlorophyll a

Score: Caution
Units: mg/l Year
2012
Historical
period of record
High 0.1 0.1
Mean 0.0154 0.011 0.02530709
Low 0.0075 0.0005
No. of Samples 24 75

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean
 

Nitrogen, Total

We were unable to determine a trend for the data available.
Score:  
Units: mg/l Year
2012
Historical
period of record
High 1.4 7.0
Mean 0.7879 1.3188 1.68764587
Low 0.451 0.054
No. of Samples 8 89

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean
 

Phosphorus, Total

We were unable to determine a trend for the data available.
Score:  
Units: mg/l Year
2012
Historical
period of record
High 0.3 2.0
Mean 0.2042 0.3299 0.48300052
Low 0.15 0.04
No. of Samples 24 122

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean
Caution

Dissolved Oxygen Saturation

Note: Low DO saturation also may be naturally influenced by inflows from nearby wetlands or groundwater sources
Score: Caution
Units: percent (%) Year
2012
Historical
period of record
High 110.5 381.3
Mean 55.22 63.48 31.1631
Low 8.00 0.00
No. of Samples 23 474

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

BOD, Biochemical oxygen demand

Units: mg/l Year
2012
Historical
period of record
High 5.1 7.8
Mean 2.46 2.7 1.87807
Low 1.00 1.00
No. of Samples 24 62

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Color

Units: PCU Year
2012
Historical
period of record
High 200.0
Mean 54.6 28.46829
Low 10.00
No. of Samples 0 134

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Nitrogen, Ammonia + Ammonium as N

Units: ug/l Year
2012
Historical
period of record
High 157.0 1,930.0
Mean 25.85 16.98 239.66615
Low 8.00 0.00
No. of Samples 24 166

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Nitrogen, Kjeldahl

Units: ug/l Year
2012
Historical
period of record
High 1,070.0 6,291.0
Mean 683.73 983.75 1144.57801
Low 443.00 50.00
No. of Samples 24 165

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Nitrogen, Nitrite + Nitrate as N

Units: ug/l Year
2012
Historical
period of record
High 320.0 3,275.0
Mean 68.49 111.43 443.70575
Low 8.00 4.00
No. of Samples 24 128

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

pH

Units: None Year
2012
Historical
period of record
High 8.2 8.8
Mean 7.78 7.6 0.40944
Low 7.35 4.90
No. of Samples 22 2,734

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Salinity

Units: PSS Year
2012
Historical
period of record
High 35.2 45.0
Mean 27.51 5.63 15.41443
Low 16.11 0.00
No. of Samples 23 2,778

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Specific conductance

Units: umho Year
2012
Historical
period of record
High 52,254.0 55,760.0
Mean 41930.42 6707.83 22606.41461
Low 26488.00 320.00
No. of Samples 21 2,591

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Temperature, water

Units: deg F Year
2012
Historical
period of record
High 86.2 95.5
Mean 78.88 74.48 5.97131
Low 66.272 49.10
No. of Samples 16 2,948

Five-year Rolling Average

  • Annual Mean

Turbidity

Units: NTU Year
2012
Historical
period of record
High 7.5 31.3
Mean 4.47 3.58 3.45366
Low 2.80 0.62
No. of Samples 24 431

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