Fox River Stratton Operations Status Update
IDNR Announces 2021 Operating Schedule for Stratton Lock
MCHENRY, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today announced the operating schedule for the William G. Stratton-Thomas A. Bolger Lock facility on the Fox River in McHenry County.
The lock opened Saturday, May 1 for the 2021 navigation season. Normal operating hours will be seven days per week from 8:00 a.m. until midnight for the months of May through September, and 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. for the month of October.
The Stratton-Bolger Lock facility is closed for the winter season each year from November 1 through April 30.
Measured inflows on the Fox River near New Munster, WI are 165 cfs and Nippersink Creek near Spring Grove are 39 cfs. Local tributary inflows are 22 cfs. The Fox Lake stage is 4.13 ft; the Stratton Dam Tailwater stage is 0.68 ft. The Fox River at the Algonquin Dam Tailwater stage is 4.54 ft.
The National Weather Service (NWS) 7-day forecast is predicting 0.25 to 0.5 inches of precipitation for the Fox River watershed as shown on Figure 1. Inflows are expected to continue falling throughout the week with little rain forecasted.
NWS SPRING DROUGHT OUTLOOK
SUMMER POOL/BOATING OUTLOOK
The gates at Stratton are being operated per the Low Flow Operations as identified in the operations manual. The boating outlook in the Chain of Lakes and Upper River are looking good through the weekend. Algonquin gates remain fully closed to keep water levels on the Lower River as high as possible. The lower river will continue to see low flow conditions as flows to the system remain low and there is little rain forecasted. The area remains in drought conditions and show no forecasts to significantly improve the Lower River conditions. Caution should be used when navigating low water level areas. The IDNR/OWR continues to closely monitor the system levels and precipitation forecasts by the NWS.