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Public Waters 


The public waters of the State are listed in Section 3704. Appendix A of the ILL. ADM. CODE CH. I, SEC. 3704.

When the Department obtains information sufficient to determine that a body of water is a public water, that body of water will be added to the list.

Any person may petition for an order to add a body of water to the list when it can be shown that the candidate is or was navigable and is open or dedicated to public use.

The following public bodies of water were navigable in their natural condition or were improved for navigation and opened to public use.

The entire length and surface area in Illinois, including all backwater lakes and sloughs open to the main channel or body of water at normal flows or stages, are open to the public unless limited to a head of navigation as stated.

 

  1. Lake Michigan;
  2. Chicago River: Main Branch;
  3. Chicago River: North Branch to North Shore Channel;
  4. Chicago River: South Branch;
  5. Chicago River: South Fork of South Branch;
  6. Chicago River: East and West Arms of South Fork of South Branch;
  7. Chicago River: West Fork of South Branch to Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal;
  8. Calumet River;
  9. Lake Calumet and entrance channel to Calumet River;
  10. Grand Calumet River;
  11. Little Calumet River;
  12. Wolf Lake (Cook County);
  13. Mississippi River (including all backwater lakes such as Frentress Lake in Jo Daviess County, Boston Bay in Mercer County and Quincy Bay in Adams County);
  14. Sinsiniwa River to North Line of Sec. 9, T28N, R1W, 4th PM in Jo Daviess County, which is located approximately two-thirds mile downstream from the U.S. Highway 20 bridge. This area is shown on the Galena, Ill.-Iowa, 7.5 minute USGS quadrangle map;
  15. Galena River to East Line of Sec. 6, T28N, R1E, 4th PM in Jo Daviess County, which is located approximately one-half mile upstream from the County Highway 67 bridge. This area is shown on the Galena, Ill.-Iowa, 7.5 minute USGS quadrangle map;
  16. Apple River to North Line of Sec. 35, T26N, R2E, 4th PM in Jo Daviess County;
  17. Plum River to North Line, T24N, R3E, 4th PM in Carroll County, which is located approximately one and one-half miles upstream from the U.S. Highway 52 bridge. This area is shown on the Savanna, Ill., 15 minute USGS quadrangle map;
  18. Rock River;
  19. Pecatonica River;
  20. Sugar River (Winnebago County);
  21. Stillman Creek to South Line, T25N, R11E, 4th PM in Ogle County, which is located approximately one-third mile downstream from the Illinois Highway 72 bridge. This area is shown on the Stillman Valley, 7.5 minute USGS quadrangle map;
  22. Henderson Creek (new channel) to East Line, SW 1/4, Sec. 6, T10N, R5W, 4th PM in Henderson County. The river has been relocated and the old channel abandoned;
  23. The Sny in Adams, Pike and Calhoun Counties. The area has been drained with levees and ditches and it is uncertain that any descendent body of water exists;
  24. Bay Creek to West Line, Sec. 29, T8S, R3W, 4th PM in Calhoun County. The head of navigation is the limit of meanders on the official plat of survey; but it is uncertain that any descendent body of water exists;
  25. Illinois River (including all backwater lakes such as Peoria Lake in Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford Counties; Matanzas Bay in Mason County; and Meredosia Lake in Cass and Morgan Counties);
  26. Des Plaines River to Hoffman Dam in Cook County, which is located one-half mile downstream from the junction with Salt Creek. This area is shown on the Berwyn, 7.5 minute USGS quadrangle map;
  27. Kankakee River;
  28. Iroquois River to South Line, SW 1/4, Sec. 30, T27N, R12W, 2nd PM in Iroquois County, which is located approximately one mile downstream from the junction with Sugar Creek. This area is shown on the Gilman, 15 minute USGS quadrangle;
  29. Fox River (Illinois River Basin);
  30. Griswold Lake (McHenry County);
  31. Fox Chain-O-Lakes (Lake and McHenry Counties): Bluff Lake, Lake Catherine, Channel Lake, Fox Lake, Grass Lake, Lake Marie, Nippersink Lake, Dunns Lake, Pistakee Lake, Lake Jerilyn, Lac Louette, Redhead Lake;
  32. Vermilion River (Illinois River Basin) to approximately one-half mile above the mouth near Oglesby in LaSalle County;
  33. Spring Lake (Tazewell County);
  34. Spoon River to North Line, Sec. 24, T6N, R1E, 4th PM in Fulton County, which is located approximately one-half mile upstream from the Illinois Highway 95 bridge. This area is shown on the Smithfield, 7.5 minute USGS quadrangle map;
  35. Sangamon River to South Line, NE 1/4, Sec. 1, T15N, R4W, 3rd PM in Sangamon County, which is located approximately one mile south of the Mechanicsburg Road bridge. This area is shown on the Mechanicsburg, 7.5 minute USGS quadrangle map;
  36. Sangamon River: South Fork to South Line, Sec. 33, T16N, R4W, 3rd PM in Sangamon County, which is located approximately two miles upstream from the mouth. This area is shown on the Springfield-East, 7.5 minute USGS quadrangle map;
  37. Macoupin Creek to East Line, Sec. 25, T9N, R13W, 3rd PM in Green and Jersey Counties, which is located approximately one mile downstream from the junction with Boyer Creek. This area is shown on the Boyer Creek, 7.5 minute USGS quadrangle map;
  38. Otter Creek to East Line of Sec. 3, T7N, R13W, 3rd PM in Jersey County, which is located approximately two miles east of the Illinois Highway 100 bridge. This area is shown on the Nutwood, 7.5 minute USGS quadrangle map;
  39. Kaskaskia River to East Line, SW 1/4, Sec. 31, T8N, R2E, 3rd PM, which is located nine miles south and two miles west of Herrick. This area is shown on the Vera, 7.5 minute USGS quadrangle map;
  40. Big Muddy River to East Line T8S, R2W, 3rd PM in Jackson County, which is located approximately one mile northwest of the Southern Illinois Airport. This area is shown on the Murphysboro, 7.5 minute USGS quadrangle map;
  41. Ohio River;
  42. Wabash River;
  43. Vermilion River (Wabash River Basin) to West Line, T19N, R11W, 2nd PM in Vermilion County, which is located approximately one mile upstream from the junction with the North Fork. This area is shown on the Danville, SW, 7.5 minute USGS quadrangle map;
  44. Little Wabash River to the Illinois Highway 1 bridge in Carmi in White County;
  45. Saline River to junction of North Fork and South Fork;
  46. Saline River: North Fork to North Line, Sec. 5, T8S, R8E, 3rd PM in Gallatin County, which is located approximately three miles south of the junction of Illinois Highway 141 and U.S. Highway 45. This area is shown on the Ridgway, 7.5 minute USGS quadrangle map;
  47. Saline River: South Fork to West Line, T9S, R8E, 3rd PM in Gallatin County, which is located at the Gallatin-Saline County line. This area is shown on the Equality, 7.5 minute USGS quadrangle map;
  48. Horseshoe Lake (Alexander County).

The following public bodies of water are primarily artificial navigable waters that were opened to public use.

  1. Illinois and Michigan Canal;
  2. Illinois and Mississippi (Hennepin) Canal and Canal Feeder;
  3. North Shore Channel (Cook County);
  4. North Branch Canal of North Branch Chicago River(Cook County);
  5. Relocated South Branch Chicago River (Cook County);
  6. Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal;
  7. Calumet Sag Channel;
  8. Marseilles Canal (LaSalle County);
  9. Chain of Rocks Canal (Madison County);
  10. Relocated Kaskaskia River.

The following public bodies of water are navigable waters that were dedicated to public use. This list is incomplete. It is believed there are numerous channels and slips in subdivisions on the margins of public bodies of water which have been dedicated by plat. Additional channels and slips have been dedicated by common law.

  1. Petite Lake, Spring Lake and connecting channels between Bluff Lake and Fox Lake in Lake County.

Federal Navigable Waters (Section 10) of the United States are waters that have been used in the past, are now used, or are susceptible to use as a means to transport interstate or foreign commerce up to the head of navigation.


Authority

Implementing and authorized by the Rivers, Lakes and Streams Act [615 ILCS 5].


Administrative Code

ADM. CODE CH. I, SEC. 3704, Chapter I: Dept. of Natural Resources, SubChapter h: Water Resources, Part 3704, Regulation of Public Waters








Illinois Public and Federal Navigable Waters (2007, July 5)

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Illinois Public Waters

A larger version is available as a JPG or a PDF.









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