UPDATE: No Wake Lifted on Rock River

Drier conditions allow 'no wake' order to be lifted in time for weekend

ROCKFORD - (UPDATE 7/14):  Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana has lifted the 'No Wake Order' for the Rock River in all of Winnebago County effective immediately.

Drier weather conditions have allowed the Rock River levels to drop to acceptable conditions the Sheriff's Officer reports.  However, river levels remain higher than normal, so caution is advised when boating on the river.

Patrols will be out, and anyone with questions can contact the Sheriff’s Department River Patrol at (815) 262-1510. Calls for service should go through the 911 Communication Center at (815) 282-2600, and of course, callers should use 911 for emergencies.


Many boaters see their cruising opportunities falling by the day, and it's all due to the rain as we're nearly 3 inches above average since June 1st.

Just when we thought the water levels of the rock river were returning to normal, strong thunderstorms and heavy rain showers move through the Stateline to bring them back up, putting boaters and kayakers on the river in a risky situation.  Kevin Versino, General Manager of Rocktown Adventures said, "One of the issues is, when the river rises, it goes over the banks and you don't know where the river ends and land begins, that brings in some different obstacles that paddlers aren't used to dealing with."

The high waters forced the Winnebago County Sheriff to issue a no wake order for the rock river, the second one in two weeks.  Versino added, "A no wake zone in and of itself isn't dangerous, however usually there's a resulted increase in current that goes along with that river level."

Versino says less experienced kayakers need to be extra careful and stick to areas they know.  He said,     "This isn't the time to go exploring new sections."

The high waters are also causing problems for the forest preserves.  Ann Wasser, the Director for Severson Dells Nature Center said, "It's amazing to see in a very short period how high the water got and how fast, and the impact that it had on the vegetation."  Wasser says flash floods that hit the Stateline on June 28th caused some major damage.  She added, "It actually did take out on of the bridges on site and laid down quite a bit of the understory.  The forest preserve maintenance staff have gotten on that and the bridge is repaired and back in working order."

With a break in the rain today, the river levels are gradually going down.


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