Boating enthusiasts who love the stretch of the Fox River between the Montgomery Dam and the Stratton Dam will have to find another favorite spot for awhile. State officials have deemed that portion of the river to be too treacherous for boating following recent rains.
Conservation police cited "swift currents, floating debris and submerged structures, which have created conditions significantly hazardous for public navigation" as the reason for the temporary closure. Those same conditions also make rescue efforts for emergency personnel particularly dangerous, according to a statement issued by the police.
The dam in far southwest suburban Montgomery is a popular fishing spot, but the Stratton Dam and Lock near McHenry serves as the gateway for boaters between the Fox Chain of Lakes and the Fox River. As such, more than 24,000 boats pass through the locks each year.
Buoys, signs and yellow police tape will provide physical notification of the boating restrictions on site. The law allows the restriction to stay in place for up to 90 days. Officials will reopen the waterway to boating as soon as they deem that portion of the river to no longer present a significant hazard to public navigation.