Flood waters take life of angler on Fox River

Antioch, Ill. – At least one Illinois fisherman has died as a
result of flooding across northern Illinois, and state officials
temporarily closed boating on some waters to prevent such
deaths.

J.C. Trotter, 76, of Chicago, drowned on the flooded Fox River
near McHenry on June 16. He was fishing out of a rented row boat
with two other men when currents capsized the boat.

The area apparently had been closed to boating before the trio
took to the water.

In the aftermath of the accident, some area residents were
asking how the boaters got access to the river, or if they knew the
area was closed.

“We do ask that people stay off the water – any type of boating
or water use is prohibited in that area,” DNR spokeswoman Marcelyn
Love stated.

Chicago news radio station WBBM reported that a McHenry County
assistant state’s attorney says it’s not clear at this point if
criminal charges could be brought, but that one potential charge
against those associated with the fatal boating accident would be
reckless homicide.

According to DNR Conserva-tion Police, the current dragged
Trotter’s boat through floodgates at the Stratton Dam. Trotter and
another man were tossed into the water, and Trotter’s life jacket
came off in the strong current. The other two men, including one
who held onto the dam, were rescued. State conservation police
still were investigating the accident at press time.

Local and state officials closed the upper Fox River and Chain
O’ Lakes to all boats on June 16 because of flooding. Water levels
at the popular fishing spots had been rising for several days. The
upper Fox River crested more than five feet above flood stage,
while lower sections were expected to continue rising.

Meanwhile, downstate waters also felt the pinch of flooding.
Anglers along the Mississippi River on both the Illinois and Iowa
side were warned to stay off the river.

At Lake Shelbyville, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was forced
to open high water ramps and close secondary ramps due to high
water.

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