(Cook County, Illinois)
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When boating, regardless of water depth, wear a PFD!
Fish in this lake include:
Get detailed map, (73k) (including depths).
Lake Calumet is located on the southeast side of Chicago. The Chart here is posted with permission from the NOAA. This chart is from NOAA-14926 (5th Ed, 20/90). This chart should be used for information only and not used for navigation.
3/27/97: After several conversations with the City of Chicago, the MWRD, and the Illinois Port Authority, we have determined that there is no place on shore where you can legally fish in this area. You can access the lake legally via boat launched from the Chicago Park District launch on Lake Michigan, or from any of the two Cook County Forest Preserve ramps on the other side of the O'Brien Lock/Dam.
I was out on this lake 5/17. There are many places that once can access this area (not sure if they are all legal or not, but they are being used). First, the river can be accessed from two places off Torrence ave. If you go thru the large tunnel (looks like a big drainage tube) on the east side of Torrence, there is an area with parking right next to the river. You can also turn into the industrial area to the west of Torrence, go to Stony Island Ave, and head south. You'll end up right at the river, across from the mooring of the J.P. Ford. There is also the SEPA facility on Torrence, but the gates are locked, and the sign warns of Guard Dogs... (I don't fancy the idea of running from a dog while carrying a kayak over my head) If you travel down 130th street, just before the entrance to I-94, and turn north, you'll travel along a frontage road. eventually, the road will have a small creek/drainage ditch next to it. It appears that a government agency has dumped dirt in the area to prevent people from launching boats in the area, but the dirt hasn't stopped it and several kids fishing immediately showed my where would be the easiest place for my kayak. You'll also see a footpath heading toward the lake. There were people down that path fishing too.
For its size, the lake isn't bad at all for a small boat, there is a bit of an odor near the breakwaters, but that is because of all the birds. They catch fish and bring them back to the breakwaters to eat... this results in many, many dead fish parts lying about on the breakwater creating a bit of an odor. The waves aren't bad due to all the breakwaters in the lake. One thing I noticed is that the waste management group seems to have diked off the slip near their facility. I don't know if they were using it as a sludge pond or ???. One other interesting thing, on the south east end of the lake, there are many trees sticking out of the water with green leaves on them. I don't know how deep the lake was at that point, but it's unusual.
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