The Forest Preserve offers fishing boat launches and rowboat rentals at select preserves. Fishing boat launches provide trailer parking, and there is no launch fee.
All watercraft must be registered with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
. All IDNR boating regulations are enforced.
Federal and State regulations require that watercraft contain one well-fitting personal flotation device (PFD) for each person on the watercraft. Children under the age of 13 must wear PFDs when on water. The Forest Preserve District requires all individuals regardless of age to wear PFDs when in private canoes and kayaks.
Boats may be launched between April 1 and October 31.
Non-gasoline powered watercraft up to 18 feet are permitted, including fishing boats, rowboats, canoes, and kayaks. Sailboats are not permitted. Only electric trolling motors can be used. (Gas-powered motors must be raised and out of the water.)
Swimming, wading, and float tubes are prohibited. Persons must be entirely secured in watercraft.
Additional regulations apply. For more information, download the District's General Use Ordinance No. 124
or call 815.727.8700.
Boat launches are located at Whalon Lake
in Naperville and Rock Run Rookery Preserve
in Joliet. At Rock Run Rookery Preserve, 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.
Boating is also allowed at Lake Chaminwood Preserve
in Minooka, but only watercraft that can be carried on top of a vehicle is permitted. There is no boat trailer parking at the preserve.
Pedalboats and rowboats are available for rental at Monee Reservoir
. Fishing is permitted from rowboats, and trolling motors are also available for rental. Life vests, oars, and paddles are included with the rental. Boats are rented on a first-come, first-served basis and are typically available April 1-October 31. (Note: Rentals will be delayed in 2014 until May 1 due to an infrastructure improvement project at the site. Learn more about this project.)
Only rented boats may be launched at Monee Reservoir (with the exception of canoes and kayaks
).Learn more about fishing at these locations.
Photograph Courtesy of Glenn P. Knoblock