Frequently Asked Questions

Is a sticker required for my non-motorized kayak?

Yes, a Fox Waterway sticker is required for everything out on the water that is being used as a mode of transportation. Non-motorized vessels also require a water usage stamp from the state in place of Illinois numbers in addition to the FWA sticker. The water usage stamp can be purchased where a fishing license can be purchased. (Pending legislation changes)

How much are the stickers?

Refer to the sticker fee schedule available at our office or on our website under “Stickers.”

Where can I pick-up the FWA sticker?

You can pick the sticker up in our office at 45 S Pistakee Lake Rd or one of our satellite locations which are listed on our website.

Why is the sticker more if bought from a satellite location?

The satellite locations charge a convenience fee they keep on top of the price of the sticker and any additional processing fees.

My state sticker is expired or I need a new state sticker.

Unfortunately, we do not handle state registrations at our office. The DNR no longer sends out reminders when stickers are expiring. The numbers can be found on the decal on the side of the vessel and the year that is listed is the year on September 30th that it’ll expire. (Recently changed from June 30th). To renew the sticker, you can go online to the DNR’s website (www.dnr.illinois.gov) or you can go to the currency exchange and they’ll send the paperwork in for you for a fee.

I want to redo my pier.

The Army Corps and the DNR are the ones who permit the changes made to existing piers or the permitting for a new pier. The Army Corps can be reached at 312-846-5530. The DNR number is 847-608-3100.

Where can I launch?

We do not have public launching at our location but the Chain O Lakes State Park in Spring Grove off Wilmot road has a free public launch. Otherwise, you have to call around to marinas and see if they offer launching and what the fee would be. Our app has more information on locations of marinas.

The weeds are taking over my channel!

We do not handle the removal of weeds or algae in the system. More information can be found on our website under forms and requests- aquatic herbicide or you can contact the DNR at 847-608-3100.

How many employees work at the waterway full-time?

13 employees. (1) Executive Director, (3) Office Staff, (1) Field Superintendent, and (8) Field Staff.

When do buoys get placed and removed?

The buoys start being placed May 1st and are completed by Memorial Day. The buoys are removed between October 1st and October 15th.

How does the waterway decide where to place buoys?

We are responsible for Pistakee Lake up to the Wisconsin state line. We place them based on “safety” considerations and to mark the channels. Per our master ordinance book and IDNR administrative code, south of Pistakee they are installed and maintained by the IDNR located at the Stratton Lock and Dam.

Where does the FWA get it's income?

We receive our monies primarily from user fee “sticker” sales.

  • We also receive, to a much lesser degree, some monies from grants for our clean-up activities and safety items.
  • We receive revenue from the sale of dredged material as topsoil.
  • We do not receive any monies from property taxes since we have no authority to impose property taxes.
What is the status of the Trinkski's Island project?

Currently, the Trinski Island project is under review with the Army Corps of Engineers’ regulatory branch awaiting approval for a permit.

Where can I find out what the current FWA projects are?

The 2018 dredging season is still being finalized and once finalized it will be on our website under “projects”

When and where are the board meetings?

Generally they are the 4th Wednesday of each month, except during the holiday season, at our office, 45 S. Pistakee Road, Fox Lake. See the meeting schedule on our website under “Meeting Agendas”

Who can we talk to about our area being dredged?

Come to a public board meeting to address your concerns. A FWA dredging application can be downloaded and printed from our website or pick one up in our office.

What is the latest on the Stratton Dam?

The construction project is pending. The construction activities should not affect the 2018 boating season. For further information contact the Stratton Lock and Dam at 815-385-2848.

What are the hours of the Stratton Lock and Dam?

May 1st– Sept 30th: 8AM- Midnight

October 1st– 31st: 8AM- 8PM

Closed November 1st through April 30th