The moment anglers and boaters have been waiting for all winter has finally arrived.
The Forest Preserve District of Will County will reopen its boat launches Saturday, April 1. Also, Monee Reservoir will resume renting pedalboats and row boats on the same date. Forest Preserve lakes are open from 6 a.m. to sunset through the boating season, which ends on Oct. 31.
If you plan to boat on a Forest Preserve lake, there are some important facts you need to know:
Powered boats must use electric trolling motors; gasoline powered motors are not allowed.
Boats must be 18 feet in length or smaller.
If a boat is equipped with a gasoline motor, the motor must be raised and out of the water at all times when the vessel is on a Forest Preserve lake.
Fishing boats, rowboats, canoes, and kayaks are all allowed. Sailboats are not allowed.
Inflatable watercraft registered with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources are permitted.
Swimming, wading, and float tubes are prohibited. Persons must be entirely secured in watercraft. Boaters must also comply with all state laws and the Forest Preserve’s General Use Ordinance No. 124. Specific restrictions apply to certain lakes. At Rock Run Rookery, boats are not allowed in the small west lake, or in the portion of the large east lake, marked by buoys, which protects an established rookery.
At Lake Chaminwood, only watercraft that can be carried on top of a vehicle are permitted. There is no boat trailer parking at the preserve.
At Monee Reservoir, only rented boats can be launched on the lake. In addition to boats, the site’s visitor center also rents trolling motors and trolling motor batteries.
Private kayaks and canoes can be launched at Monee Reservoir with a purchased pass. Day passes and season passes are available for purchase. Kayaks and canoes are available for rental from May 1 through September 30.
All boat rentals include life vests, oars and paddles.
For Monee Reservoir boat rental pricing and details, visit the preserve's Web page. For Forest Preserve fishing information and regulations, visit the District’s fishing page.