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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have not heard all the details yet, but my scanner went wild yesterday with reports of a capsized boat at Lasalle lake. The local newspaper printed a short story today about it.
Two passengers, both made it to shore, one may have had a minor leg injury.

It was really windy out this way yesterday, and I just want to pass this on. That lake is no joke, please be careful. When the wind picks up, be sure to make good choices.
I have seen it go from smooth as glass to three footers in minutes.

I am glad to hear everyone was ok, but its still not good.
 

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Here is one that I dont quite get..even though its heidecke and not Lasalle it should apply. When we duck hunt heidecke the boat has to be a minimum of 16' and 60" wide -I think it should be that for fishing to - get those little 12' dinkers off the lake with the way a cooling lake can change.
 

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I've got a buddy that helped rescue not one but TWO boats in one afternoon out at Lasalle. By the pics of the water he had sent me, I'm guessing 4 footers!!! The water was coming up OVER the dikes. He was fishing and watching two boats - both 16 foot V's and noticed they looked pretty low in the water. So he kept an eye on them. Both boats had taken a couple of waves over the side and their auto-bilges weren't beefy enough to keep up. Both boat drivers eventually had to put their boats into the rocks to keep from sinking. My buddy was able to go around to the opposite side of the dike where it was less windy and pick them up. I guess their boats were pretty much junk after leaving them and getting beat up on them rocks.

Lasalle is the worst out of all the cooling lakes because there's absolutely no trees around to block some of the wind and it's much wider than either Heidecke or Braidwood. BUT, all three of them can kick up 3+ footers if conditions are right. I agree 100% with Quacker, the DNR needs to put a minimum size restriction on all three lakes all of the time. Just because the water is warmer doesn't mean people can't drown. And I KNOW Heidecke has had a few deaths through the years and I'll bet Lasalle has had one or two as well.

I can't even believe the DNR had it open yesterday. There had to be 30+ mph gusts!!!
 

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I was thinking the same thoughts about Lasalle yesterday, and told my wife if it wasn't so far away from us I'd like to take a ride just just see how bad it got out there. I agree with a size limit, I've seen boats way too small for the lake and wondered " what are they thinking" and hoped for the best. Suprised it was open too. At least everyone made out !!
 

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couple years back a guy and his brother and son from my union hall were out on LaSalle and capsized due to the waves. The brother and son made it, but the other guy was not so lucky the drug the lake two days later and found his body. That lake is rough I have been out there when there were 3 to 4 footers and headed back in quicker then @#$#. Always remember please use good judgment and know your boats limits!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Years back there was a size limit on lasalle lake. 16' 10hp min. If I remember correctly, It was like 10 years ago.
I was told by the guy who opens the gate, If the wind light is not lit when you launch, you are free to roam all day, yet you cannot launch if its on. Doesnt make much sense to me.
The engineers designed lasalle to catch all that wind, it is a giant radiator for the nuke, and it still doesnt cool the water down enough all the time. There is plenty of wind out that way, look at all the windmills they are putting up.
I hope an event like this will remind people to respect the water we enjoy.
 

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You know - that boat size minimum on Braidwood helps keep SOME knuckleheads from killing themselves and their boatmates, but I think they need to review and change that verbage. 60" minimum width is NOTHING. There's some 18' Jon boats out there that are only 60 inches wide and they'd be a death trap on some of these windy days. I realize that ultimately it's the responsibility of the boat owner. ANd, you don't want to get too technical with the description/restriction. But I believe the DNR has an obligation to protect idiots from themselves. The current minimal requirement is too small IMO...

BassCats&Carp - I don't believe Lasalle ever had a 16' restriction. Me and a buddy have been fishing it since it opened and back then he only had a 14" Gamefisher. That boat was still WAY safer than a 16', 60 inch wide shallow Jon Boat...
 

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I've been out on Lake Michigan, and have seen guys in 16 ft boats out fishing in 100 ft of water. Some people use no common sense.
 

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We all need to be smart about what we're doing on any lake, especially cooling lakes and the great lakes. They're unforgiving and making the wrong decision can and will cost you the lives of all aboard.

That said - it's hard to make a blanket statement about what should be allowed, or what one with common sense might do. I've been fishing on lake michigan for almost my whole life (since I was 2 in 1982). Every year I've spent many a day on the water fishing in a 1969 14' Alumacraft with a 15hp outboard. I've got a lot of experience in reading conditions and navigating heavy seas. I always listen to better judgement - if it's questionable don't go out - or if I'm out and conditions are changing (this can happen in a matter of minutes!), head in.

I currently have a 14' SmokerCraft with a 40hp outboard and a 55lb thrust bowmount. I've fished LM in January the past 3 years when conditions are appropriate. I've also been out of Waukegan and have ventured out to 90ft+ with the right conditions. I've not had an incident where not making it in was a question in my mind.

I am working on getting a much larger boat - but saving up that kind of $ takes time. In the meantime, I have to pick my days and am happy to risk lost fishing time instead of my life.

James
 
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