Chain O'Lakes Fishing, Boating, and Year-Round Recreation
(Click on additional Chain links on left...Fishing, Boating, Map, etc)
Located approximately 40 miles northwest of Chicago on Illinois Rte 173 and Rte 12, near the town of Antioch, the 7,200 acres Fox Chain O’Lakes are the largest single, inland, water-oriented, recreational asset in Northeastern Illinois, according to a survey taken by the U.S. Coast Guard. Weekend usage on the Chain hits about 60,000 on average and on holidays that figure rises to about 100,000 people.
Easy access to the major cities of Chicago, Milwaukee and Rockford has added to the importance of the Chain. In addition to hotels, motels and resorts with cottages in the immediate marina area, there are also many marinas, restaurants, pubs, bait and tackle stores and recreational lakefronts.
The future of the Chain is being monitored by the Illinois Department of Conservation. They have recently expanded both the walleye and muskellunge populations throughout the Chain. The Fox Chain provides the best place to go fishing in Northern Illinois, with over forty species of fish in sizes and numbers desirable and sought-after by anglers.
Since the Chain O’Lakes is classified as a public navigable waterway and is managed under the authority of the Department of Transportation, Division of Waterways, the Fox Waterway Agency and the Department of Conservation, Division of Fisheries, all state boating, hunting, and fishing regulations are applicable and enforced.
Make your trip a fun one by understanding the sport of fishing and the types of bait and tackle to use as well as when, where and how. As the old saying goes, "Ten percent of the Fishermen catch ninety percent of the fish." Safety should be a number one concern when on the Chain (or any other body of water). Make sure all your equipment is in working order. Do not overload your boat or run it at high speeds in unfamiliar areas. Be courteous to everyone around you and give assistance where needed.
Enjoy any and all of the lakes on the Chain, including Channel Lake, Lake Catherine, Lake Marie, Bluff Lake, Grass Lake, Petite Lake, Nippersink Lake, Fox Lake, Pistakee Lake, Spring Lake and Dunns Lake.
Look for the following fish when on the Chain: Yellow Perch, Walleye, Northern Pike, Muskellunge, Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, White Crappie, Black Crappie, White and Yellow Bass, Channel Catfish, Bullheads and Carp.
Everyone involved with the Fox Chain O’Lakes wants you to enjoy the Chain now and in the future. For more information on permits and licenses, contact the following agencies:
Fox Waterway Agency
45 S. Pistakee Lake Road
Fox Lake, IL 60020
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Division of Fisheries, Lincoln Tower Plaza
524 South Second
Springfield, IL 62706
Regional Fisheries Office
This information was compiled with the assistance of the Fox Waterway Agency and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Regional Fisheries Office.