Dam Information

The Evolving Goals: Uniform Dam Portages for all 23 Dams of the Rock River

A Request For Proposals/Bids (RFP/B) will be published in newspapers of record in all 11 counties. This can be county by county only, or for the entire system.

Incorporating the basic principles of Conservation Design, the Uniform Dam Portages’ RFP/B will give specifications for:

  1. Warning and directional signage
  2. Approach channels created by anchored and solar-powered, LED-lighted buoys, cabled together to create a safety channel leading to each dam’s take-out area.
  3. Low-impact, solar-powered, LED lighting system for the entire facility
  4. Construction of take-out landing, path, and launch with natural rock or permeable pavement
  5. Canoe cart system
  6. Recycling and regular waste containers
  7. One bench or picnic table at takeout and launch area
  8. Information kiosk for local attractions, resources, lodging, and downstream course.

Proposed budget for each dam: $250,000.00, provided by federal funds, totaling $4.75 million for all 19 dams. Costs above this amount to be provided by local fund raising. If a dam’s portage comes in under budget, the remaining funds must be used for regional advertising/promotion for the Rock River Trail.

Important Links

Please watch this excellent video by Thomas Lindblade, president of the Illinois Paddling Council. If you didn’t have respect for dams before, you will after watching this, especially lowhead dams.

This website has a list of all the dams on the Rock River, with Google map connections.

This website just has the Rock River dams in Illinois, but it is very good. It has four internet map sites for each dam. However, some might disagree with their portage recommendations.

Map of Wisconsin Dams (pdf)

Map of Illinois Dams (pdf)

Listing of Dams (geographical order – N to S)

Waupun Dam – N Madison St, Shaler Park, above Horicon Marsh, Waupun, WI

Horicon Dams – Horicon Wisconsin

Hustisford Dam – Lake Sinnissippi, Hustisford, WI

Upper Watertown Dam – North of Concord & Oconomowoc Ave, Watertown, WI

Lower Watertown Dam – S Water St & W Milwaukee St, Watertown, WI

Jefferson Dam – Dodge St and Main St, Jefferson, WI

Indianford Dam – Lake Koshkonong, Indianford, WI

Janesville Central Dam – 00 Block of Centerway, Janesville, WI

Montery Dam – 800 Center Ave, Janesville, WI

Beloit Dam – 852 Pleasant St / South of Portland Ave Bridge, Beloit

Rockton Dam – Rockton, IL

Fordham Dam – Rockford, IL

Oregon Dam – Oregon, IL

DIxon Dam – Dixon, IL

Sinnissippi Dam – Sterling/Rock Falls, IL

Milan Steel Dam – Milan, IL

Sears Dam – Rock Island, IL