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Dam rule proposed in Illinois

September 19, 2008 at 12:35 PM

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

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

I grew up in Pennsylvania. Besides being a free state where one could CCW, and owning guns with a happy switch legally, we could also fish at damns, and quite successfully. We even had spillways which you could go up or down, provide you were an experienced boater. I never remember such problems with people drowning, unless an excess of alcohol was involved. Are people in general just getting dumber, or is this a problem unique to Illinois and its northern inhabitants?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/19 at 12:46 PM

Fishermen have stood on Bernadotte dam on the Spoon River and fished for years. They used to even sit on chairs and fish for catfish and large flatheads. It has been a tradition for generations. This new law will eliminate this enjoyable sport and recreation. I can remember as a kid, sitting on the shore and watching fishermen hook into large flatheads and walk them over to the edge to land them. We seem to be losing our whole legacy and traditions that made living enjoyable.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/19 at 06:22 PM

dont they have better things to worry bout like not closing our state parks

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/19 at 09:38 PM

This sort of “government must protect ourselves from ourselves” thinking is way out of hand.
I don’t intend to offend, or disrespect the dead, but with the exceptions of those people that have died while trying to save someone else, the deaths at dams have been caused by the victim doing something incredibly stupid.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/19 at 10:16 PM

What’s next out-lawing all watercrafts because to many people have drowned? Big goverment again trying to tell us what is best…makes me SICK!!!
GOD BLESS AMERICA…Land of the Free????

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/20 at 06:04 PM

Plus…We here in the GREAT state of Illinois,have some crazy B.S. public waterway laws already,now they want to take more from us???

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/20 at 06:41 PM

Of all the political gridlock and budgetary problems faced by the state, this is what our governor and director feel needs to be addressed at this time.  Truly astounding!  What’s next?  No fishing if the river level gets to a certain stage.  This country, with Illinois leading the way, is slowly allowing its freedom to be eroded through legislation and lawsuits.  I don’t need a government or a law to tell me how to use common sense and experience when approaching a potentially dangerous situation.  One thing I can say with a fair amount of certainty is that most of us have more experience fishing rivers, spillways and dams than any of those proposing this measure.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/20 at 08:52 PM

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