From its headwaters near Waukesha, the Fox River drains 938 square miles in southeastern Wisconsin prior to entering Illinois.  Between the McHenry County/Wisconsin border and its junction with the Illinois River near Ottawa, the river runs for 115 miles and drains an additional 1,720 square miles. Although it is only 3% of the total area in Illinois, the watershed is home to about 450,000 people (11% of the state total); a number that is likely to increase by more than 30% over the next 20 years.

The Fox River is a multi-purpose resource that contributes critical habitat for wildlife, serves as a valuable resource for recreation, receives and assimilates pollutants from point and non-point sources and provides source water for public water supplies.  Habitat modifications may also play a significant role in the dynamics of the river.  Because of the rapid pace of development in the Fox River watershed, maintaining these resources requires comprehensive planning.  
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Fox River Watershed
Fox River Study Group, Inc., 682 State Route 31, Oswego, IL 60543