Local

Three Oaks Recreational Area opened Friday

CRYSTAL LAKE – Scores of people, most carrying fishing poles and tackle boxes, streamed into Three Oaks Recreation Area early Friday morning for the first time.

The popularity of the city's recreation area on opening day was immediately apparent. Dozens of anglers cast off from points around the shores of the 500 acre facility. Others formed a line in front of the marina, eager to get on the water in one of the recreation area's fleet of boats.

By 7:30 a.m., all 23 of the fishing boats were on the water. Those still in line started making plans to stow gear in canoes and kayaks and head out to find new fishing spots.

Several fish had been caught and released shortly after the park opened at 6:30 a.m., said Crystal Lake City Manager Gary Mayerhofer.

As the anglers waited for a chance to cast a line, others hiked the trails, visited the scenic vistas or gathered in groups to talk about fishing plans. 

Crystal Lake spent $14.37 million to turn the former gravel pits northwest of Rakow and Pingree roads into a water recreation area. Only some of the amenities are available this fall, and fishing has clearly been the biggest draw so far.

A dedication ceremony is planned for 4 p.m. today.
 

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