Regulations and Boating Safety


User Fee Permits – User Fee Permits are required for all watercraft that use the Waterway
(except for sailboards which are not required to be registered by the State of Illinois).

Debris – Individuals responsible for placing debris including grass clippings and abandoned
watercraft in the Waterway will be subject to fine by and/or restitution to the FWA.

No Wake Speed in Side Channels and Shoreline Areas 150 Feet From Shore – All side
channels have been designated “Slow – No Wake”. Also all lake shoreline areas 150 feet from
shore have been designated “Slow No Wake”. In general these areas are not marked.

Night Speed Limit – The speed limit is 25 miles per hour from sunset to sunrise.

Restricted Areas – The FWA maintains a 450 plus buoy system on the Waterway. Some buoys
mark restricted areas such as no motor zones and congested areas where caution should be
exercised. Be alert for and obey all navigational aids.

Excessive Noise – Every watercraft shall be equipped with an adequate muffler or exhaust system
in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise. No person using the Waterway may
create, with watercraft or any other means excessive or unusual noise which results in a breach of
the peace.

Regulate Watercraft During Flooding and Overflow Conditions – During times of flood and
overflow conditions the Agency may impose watercraft restrictions ranging from “no wake” to
“no boating”. Call the FWA’s 24 hour automated phone system which relays any Waterway
restrictions in the opening greeting.

Ordinance Defining Allowable Structures In, On or Over the Public Waters of the Fox
Waterway – Sets uniform rules for building structures (such as piers and sea walls) in, on or near
the Waterway. For more information contact the Agency’s permitting coordinator.

Siltation Control Ordinance – Prohibits any and all entities from causing or allowing the
deposit of silt into the Waterway.

For information regarding these ordinances call the FWA at (847) 587-8540 or download from
the FWA website

Safe boating classes are highly recommended. For more information contact:

US Coast Guard at (800) 336-BOAT
US Power Squadron at (847)296-USPS
Illinois Department Of Natural Resources at (815)675-2385

The Fox Waterway Agency wishes you a safe and enjoyable boating season.