Bangs Lake is one of the Wauconda-area’s finest recreational locations. The lake is approximately 309 acres in size and is enjoyed by fishermen, skiers, and recreational boaters.
The Village of Wauconda coordinates the management of Bangs Lake with property owners in unincorporated Wauconda Township. This includes fish stocking, water quality, plant control, watershed issues, education and the enforcement of boating and fishing regulations.
The Marine Patrol Unit, a part of the Wauconda Police Department, enforces all laws regarding boating registration, operations, conservation and fishing regulations, conducts boat safety inspections and maintains the regulatory buoys.
All Marine Patrol Officers are sworn auxiliary peace officers with full powers of enforcement and arrest. Their primary mission is to help ensure that all users of Bangs Lake can enjoy the lake to its fullest potential in a safe and pleasant manner by the monitoring of fishing and boating activities on the lake to ensure compliance with State and local laws.
INSPECTION PERMIT REQUIREMENTS Requirements. It shall be unlawful to operate, use or permit the use of any boats on Bangs Lake without first obtaining and displaying an inspection permit 92.108(A).
SUMMARY OF GENERAL BOATING OPERATION
(NOTE: The following is a summary only and is not meant to be all-inclusive)
SPEED LIMITS – A maximum speed limit of 30 mph exists on Bangs Lake and is radar enforced 92.097(F).
NO WAKE RULES – A no-wake speed limit (less than 5 mph) exists in all areas of the lake between 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. 92.097(E).
LIFE JACKETS (Age)– All persons under the age of 13 years shall wear a Type I, II, III or V Personal Flotation Device (PFD) at all times while on watercraft underway on the lake 92.069(F).
LIFE JACKETS (Activity) – All persons water-skiing (92.069), operators and passengers of personal watercraft, specialty prop-craft and similar water craft (625 ILCS 45/4-1) must wear a Type I, II, III or V PFD while engaged in these water activities.
INSPECTION – All duly authorized personnel may board and inspect any boat at any time for the purpose of determining if this Chapter is being complied with. Vessels underway must immediately stop upon being hailed by an authorized person 92.043(A) and 625 ILCS 45/2-2.
TOWING – No person operating any type of watercraft, including personal watercraft and specialty prop-craft, that is towing persons involved in water-skiing, aquaplaning, or similar activity, may operate within 100 feet of any occupied anchored boat, personal watercraft, specialty prop-craft, marked swimming area or public boat landing 92.098(J).
CARELESS OPERATION – No person shall operate any motorboat, personal watercraft, specialty prop-craft or sailboat in a careless manner so as to be indifferent to the person or property of others, or to operate at excessive speed 92.090.
RECKLESS OPERATION – No person shall operate any watercraft, or manipulate any water ski, aquaplane or similar device in such a manner as to endanger the life, limb or property of any person, weave through congested traffic, jump the wake of another vessel unreasonably or unnecessarily close to the other vessel, or operate any watercraft so as to approach or pass another watercraft in such a manner or at such a rate of speed as to create a hazardous wake or wash, or operate any watercraft in such an unreasonable manner by turning across the path of another watercraft in such a close proximity as to cause said vessel to use evasive action to avoid a collision 92.091.
HOURS OF ACTIVITY – Water skiing, aquaplaning or similar activities, and the operation of personal watercraft and specialty prop-craft are permitted only between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., and prohibited when the waters are too crowded with watercraft or water skiers and such fact is properly announced to the public by any Police Official of the Village 92.098(B).
DIRECTION OF TRAFFIC – All water skiing and similar activities, and all personal watercraft and specialty prop-craft shall travel in a counter-clockwise direction around the lake 92.098(E).
SAFE DISTANCE – No person who is operating any type of watercraft that is towing persons engaged in water skiing, aquaplaning or a similar activity, may get within 100 feet of any occupied anchored boat, any personal watercraft or specialty prop-craft, or any marked swimming area or public boat landing 92.098(J). No person who is water skiing or engaged in a similar activity may get within 100 feet of a personal watercraft or specialty prop-craft or allow the tow rope to get within 100 feet of a personal watercraft or specialty prop-craft 92.098(K). It is illegal to operate a personal watercraft or similar craft within 100 feet of the following: 1. Another boat towing a skier or person engaged in a similar activity. 2. The tow rope of another motorboat towing a skier or person engaged in a similar activity. 3. A person involved in skiing or a similar activity 92.098(I)
TOWING SIZE – A personal watercraft or similar craft must have a minimum length of 9’ 11” and be designed to seat at least 3 persons when towing persons engaged in water skiing, aquaplaning or similar activity 92.098(H).
FACING BACKWARDS – It is illegal to operate a personal watercraft or specialty prop-craft facing backwards 92.098(G).
NOISE LEVELS – Personal watercraft, specialty prop-craft or similar craft may not exceed the maximum motorboat noise levels. You may not modify a personal watercraft or similar craft in a way that amplifies or increases the noise level above the legal limit. Operators of watercraft shall reduce speed while heading out from or returning to shore to reduce noise levels 92.098(L).
AGE OF OPERATORS – No person under 10 years of age may operate a motorboat, personal watercraft or specialty prop-craft. Persons at least 10 years of age and less than 12 years of age may operate a motorboat, personal watercraft or specialty prop-craft only if they are accompanied on the motorboat, personal watercraft or specialty prop-craft and under the direct control of a parent or guardian or a person of at least 18 years of age designated by a parent or guardian. Persons at least 12 years of age and less than 18 years of age may operate a motorboat, personal watercraft or specialty prop-craft only if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian or a person of at least 18 years of age designated by a parent or guardian or such motorboat, personal watercraft or specialty prop-craft operator is in possession of a boating safety certificate issued by the Department of Conservation Division of Law Enforcement, authorizing the holder to operate a motorboat, personal watercraft or specialty prop-craft 92.092(A). Violations of this section done with the knowledge of a parent or guardian shall be deemed a violation by the parent or guardian 92.092(B).
UNNECESSARY SOUNDING OF A WHISTLE – No person shall sound a whistle except the internationally accepted horn or whistle signals for watercraft 92.105.