DIXON – The Rock River in the jurisdiction of Winnebago, Ogle, Lee and Whiteside counties has been designated as a restricted boating area (recreational boats only) effective July 22.
Conservation Police Region 1 Supervisor Sergeant Scott Avery reported rising flood waters, dangerous currents, floating and submerged debris as well as weakened levees, creating significantly hazardous navigation on the river. The conditions also make it treacherous for emergency response personnel who are called upon to respond and rescue persons involved in boating mishaps.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has authorization to designate restricted boating areas during hazardous conditions as cited in the following:
Section 2030.80 Hazardous Navigation Conditions – Designated Restricted Boating Areas
In the event that the Department of Natural Resources determines the presence of conditions that make navigation of a body of water significantly dangerous to the public, the director of the Department of Natural Resources may, in coordination with the federal government, designate Restricted Boating Areas on an affected body of water within the jurisdiction of the State of Illinois. This designation shall be made by public announcement in local media and by posting at local public boat launches and marinas, and the restricted area shall be physically marked by buoys, signs, manned watercraft or yellow police tape. This designation will remain in effect until the director of the Department of Natural Resources determines that navigation is no longer significantly dangerous to the public, but in no case shall the designation remain in effect longer than 90 days. Recision of the Restricted Boating Area designation shall be publicly announced in local media and posted at local public boat launches and marinas and any markings shall be removed.