Marine Patrol Unit

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. Please familiarize yourself with the Welcome to Bangs Lake Guide  which contains important rules and regulations pertaining to lake activities.

***All activities on the waters or surface of Bangs Lake or any body of water wholly or partly in the Village of Wauconda are done at the participants' own risk. The Village of Wauconda assumes NO LIABILITY for said use.***

Lake ManagementThe Village of Wauconda coordinates the management of Bangs Lake with property owners in unincorporated Wauconda Township. This includes:

  • Education
  • Enforcement of boating and fishing regulations
  • Fish stocking
  • Plant control
  • Water quality
  • Watershed issues

ResponsibilitiesThe Marine Patrol Unit is part of the Wauconda Police Department and their responsibilities include:

  • Conducts boat safety inspections
  • Regulates winter lake activities
  • Enforces all State laws and Local Ordinances regarding (but not limited to):
    • Boating registration
    • Conservation
    • Fishing regulations
    • Operations 
  • Maintains the regulatory buoys

MissionThe Marine Patrol Unit, a part of the Wauconda Police Department, monitors compliance with all laws regarding boating registration, operations, conservation and fishing regulations, conducts boat safety inspections and maintains the regulatory buoys. The Marine Unit also oversees winter lake activities. 

The Marine Patrol consists of sworn Police Officers with powers of enforcement and arrest as specified by state law and local ordinance. 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, boating and all other activities on the lake. 

Boat Inspection & Ice Shelter Permit RequirementsIt shall be unlawful to operate, use or permit the use of any boats or ice fishing shelters on Bangs Lake without first obtaining and displaying an inspection permit 92.108(A) and 92.003(B)

For additional information (which may not yet be updated in the American Legal Publisher), please reference: Recreation Regulations - Fishing and Fishing Shelters
For Ice Fishing safety tips, please reference: IDNR Handbook Ice Fishing

Boat Inspection & Ice Shelter Permit FeesAll funds collected from boat inspections and ice shelter permit fees will be deposited in the Marine Fund, which is used exclusively for patrolling, promotion of safety, fish restocking and maintenance of Bangs Lake 92.108(F) Ice Shelter Permits may be picked up at the Wauconda Police Department, 311 S. Main St., Wauconda.

For additional information or questions, please contact the Wauconda Police Department Marine Unit at 1(847)526-2421 or  

Ice Shelter Permit Fees
Seasonal Ice Shelter Fee
Temporary Ice Shelter $25.00 One-time fee for entire season
Permanent Ice Shelter $45.00 One-time fee for entire season

Shelter fees do not apply to fishing tournaments on Bangs Lake. Clarification for shelter fees are as follows:

  • $45.00 (One-Time Fee) for a Permanent Shelter. This shelter can be left on the ice all season, unattended.
  • $25.00 (One-Time Fee) for a Temporary Shelter. This shelter must be taken down daily, must not be left unattended, and can be erected throughout the entire season. 
  • Both types of shanty permits require that the issued permit number MUST BE DISPLAYED on the outsides of the shelter in large numbers, visible from multiple sides of the shanty. 
  • No fee for fishing without a shelter e.g., anglers sitting on a bucket on the open ice.
  • All shelters, Permanent or Temporary, must register with the Wauconda Police Department.
  • All laws and regulations are strictly enforced by the Wauconda Police Department.
  • Catch limits apply to all persons fishing, and it is their responsibility to familiarize themselves with all applicable rules and requirements of the Village of Wauconda and the State of Illinois. 
Boat Safety Inspection Fees 

The Village of Wauconda provides services to ensure a safe and enjoyable boating experience on Bangs Lake, including Marine Unit Patrol, boat safety inspections and lake maintenance services. The cost for providing these services is offset by revenues from safety inspections. The annual fee has not been adjusted to meet those costs since 2015 and previous to that, it was last adjusted in 2008. On March 20, 2024, the Village Board approved an ordinance increasing fees as shown below. The fees are effective immediately for the 2024 boating season.

Horsepower Rating Annual Fee After July 3rd
More than 0.0 up to 9.9 $50 $75
10.0-39.9 $70 $95
40.0-74.9 $100 $125
75.0-140.0 $130 $155
Over 140.0 $160 $185