About 4 LWI

The 4 Lakes Watershed Initiative was originally conceived in the spring of 2010, when the Bangs Lake Advisory Committee (BLAC) and the Slocum Lake Management Committee (SLMA) agreed that a watershed based approach to lake management would prove to be beneficial for both lakes.  The two lakes are joined by Bangs Lake Drain which runs along IL Hwy 176 prior to reaching Slocum Lake.  The drain exits Slocum draining to the nearby Fox River.  In the end of 2010 the two lake management committees agreed that several resulting lake management issues were the direct result of land management or policy shortcoming with the nearby watershed. 

Through participation in the Illinois Lakes Management Association (ILMA) nearby lake management committees and municipalities became aware of the 4LWI and expressed interest in becoming participants in the group.  The Island Land Management Committee (ILMC) joined the 4LWI in late 2010 after understanding that several lake impacts were also derived from watershed induced impacts.  Although Island Lake's watershed (also known as Mutton Creek Watershed) was previously studied and heavily planned for in the mid 90's by NIPC, the plan and resultant Action Plan was never implemented. 

At the beginning of 2011 Griswold Lake joined the 4LWI through coordination with the Village of Holiday Hills, located just east of the Fox River, directly west of Island Lake and was shortly joined by Lake Napa Suwe, a smaller earthen dam impoundment just north of Bangs Lake.  After the first meeting of the 4LWI, Port Barrington expressed an interest in joining the planning group with interest in protecting the backwater channels along the Fox River that are the Village's livelihood. 

Right now the 4LWI is a completely stakeholder driven watershed planning group.  We are still growing and welcome those interested water quality and protection to come join our group and help us to plan for improved land management objectives through holistic watershed management.  The 4LWI consists of separate watershed but similar municipal planning areas which has lead to the unified front.

The planning area includes key holdings by the Lake County Forest Preserve District, the McHenry County Conservation District as well as well known fisherman hotspots such as Bangs Lake and Nielsen's Channel.

Numerical breakdown of 4LWI:
  • Bangs/Slocum Watershed: ~7,040 acres
  • Mutton Creek Watershed: ~5,786 acres
  • Griswold Lake Watershed: ~3,256 acres
  • Port Barrington Shelf: ~2,520 acres
  • Total Area: 18,602 acres
  • Area in Lake County: 14,593 acres
  • Area in McHenry County: 4,009 acres
  • Known Floodplain area: 4,720+ acres
  • Know Wetland area (NWI): 3,760+ acres
Breakdown of Threatened and Endangered Species within the 4LWI:
  • Birds: 6 Species
  • Fish: 4 Species
  • Submersed Plants: 2 Species