Dam rule proposed in Illinois
Legal fishing would change dramatically at 31 Illinois dams if the Department of Natural Resources adopts a proposed administrative rule change.
Under 17 Illinois Administrative Code 3703, an exclusion zone would be established 300 feet upstream and 50 feet downstream of listed dams. Nobody would be allowed to enter that area by foot, boat or any other means. Violators could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. Here’s the official rationale:
The purpose of this Part is to protect the public’s safety and welfare in the State’s public bodies of water near run-of-river dams. This Part applies to the entire State geographically but is limited to only those rivers, streams and waterways that are considered to be public waters.
DNR acting director Sam Flood wrote in a recent letter: “Over the years, far too many people have been injured or killed in accidents on and near so-called “run-of-river” low head dams on our rivers and streams. At the direction of Governor Blagojevich and with the support of the Illinois General Assembly, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has developed a number of short- and long-term strategies for enhancing safety at dams.”
Thirty-one dams would be impacted, most in northeast or northern Illinois.
Click here to read the full text of the proposed administrative rule change.isit to learn more. Comments will be accepted through Oct. 20. The IDNR Office of Water Resources will also host a public hearing on the proposed regulations on Thursday, September 25 at 1 p.m. at James “Pate” Phillip State Park in Bartlett. The hearing will take place in the Bartlett Park District’s Nature Center Theater at the park, located at 2054 West Stearns Road in Bartlett.
Send written comments by Oct. 20 to Robert Mool, IDNR Office of Legal Counsel, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271.
Here’s a list of the dams that would be included under the proposed rule, with dam name, county and body of water listed.
- Algonquin Dam, McHenry, Fox River
- Aurora - East Dam, Kane, Fox River
- Aurora - West Dam, Kane, Fox River
- Bernadotte, Fulton, Spoon River
- Carpentersville Dam, Kane, Fox River
- Dayton Dam, LaSalle, Fox River
- Dixon Dam, Lee, Rock River
- Elgin - Kimble Street Dam, Kane, Fox River
- Fairbanks Road Dam, Cook, Des Plaines River
- Fordham Dam, Winnebago, Rock River
- Geneva Dam, Kane, Fox River
- Hoffman Dam, Cook, Des Plaines River
- Kankakee Dam, Kankakee, Kankakee River
- Momence Dam, Kankakee, Kankakee River
- Montgomery Dam, Kane, Fox River
- North Aurora Dam, Kane, Fox River
- North Batavia Dam, Kane, Fox River
- Oregon Dam, Ogle, Rock River
- Petersburg Dam, Menard, Sangamon River
- Rockton Dam, Winnebago, Rock River
- Sears Dam, Rock Island, Rock River
- Sinnissippi Dam, Whiteside, Rock River
- South Elgin Dam, Kane, Fox River
- St. Charles Dam, Kane, Fox River
- Steel Dam, Rock Island, Rock River
- Sterling Lower Dam, Whiteside, Rock River
- Stratton Lock and Dam, McHenry, Fox River
- Vermilion River, Vermilion, Vermilion
- Wilmington Dam, Will, Kankakee River
- Wilmington Mill Race, Kankakee, Kankakee River
- Yorkville Dam, Kendall, Fox River