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No-wake in place for Chain O' Lakes, Fox River

FOX LAKE – Area boaters wanting to speed through the Chain O' Lakes and Fox River will have to wait until elevated water levels from the recent rainfall subsides.

The Fox Waterway Agency in Fox Lake on Tuesday placed a no-wake restriction on the Chain O' Lakes, from the Pistakee Lake north to the Wisconsin state line.

The order came nearly 48 hours after the agency placed a similar restriction on the Fox River, from the mouth of Pistakee Lake south to the Algonquin dam. A no-wake restriction means boats cannot travel faster than 5 mph, or at speeds that leave a wake behind.

"We got a fair amount of rain in our northern watershed, and its all coming down on us," said Ron Barker, the agency's executive director.

Despite the elevated water levels, area homes near the Fox River and Chain O' Lakes are not in imminent danger of flooding, Barker said. So far, the heavy rainfall over the weekend near Wisconsin has pushed the water into yards around Fox Lake, but it has yet to reach homes.

The no-wake restriction also comes days before families and residents start planning Fourth of July festivities near the Fox River and Chain O' Lakes.

The water resources office from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources already has begun moving water through the McHenry and Algonquin dams "as quickly and safely" as officials can to help lower northern water levels, Barker said.

"There's pressure anytime we have a no-wake," he said.

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