Back in December 2011, the footbridge that was slated to go over the Marge Cline Whitewater Course at the Bicentennial Riverfront Park in Yorkville, was finally put in place. The first week of January, during one of my many strolls along the Fox River, I noticed that someone had left the gate open for the bridge. I took the open invite to go do some exploring.
I recall reading somewhere that the bridge should make a good vantage point to watch the kayakers play in the course. That it will do.
Someone with a better camera than I have should be able to get some decent photos of them.
I imagine the Geneva Kayak Center, which is located at the head of the whitewater course, will be taking advantage of this.
There's a foot path that runs the length of the island so you get some pretty nice views of the whole whitewater course. You will have to watch you're step though, the geese seem to have taken a liking to this little island.
Since anglers are not allowed to fish anywhere near the course, without the bridge in place to get to the man made island that separates the course from the dam, for the last two years there really has been no place for anglers to go. This used to be a pretty popular spot and in years past on one day I recall seeing up to 30 anglers fishing the river between the dam and the Route 47 bridge.
For all of 2011, I don't think I saw a half dozen anglers in the whole area.
Now that they can get to the island, I don't think fishing there is going to be all that easy. Before the building of the course and the rebuilding of the dam, the south shoreline was relatively level and rock free. Not any more.
A little further down there's a very short stretch that I'm sure the anglers will be clearing of all the small rocks so they can plop down their lawn chairs.
The south shoreline of this little island is not going to fit that many anglers though, no matter how many of those little rocks they throw back into the river. Fishing in the whitewater course itself will still be off limits.
I spoke to someone that lives overlooking the dam. Apparently, a few feet out into the river from the south shore of the island, is a channel that was created. He thinks its a good five or six feet deep. I know I won't be going in there to find out. That pretty much guarantees that few will be trying to walk across the river from the island.
It would be a shame if the anglers didn't return, a few new businesses have opened up on the edge of Bicentennial Riverfront Park (River City Roasters, Creative Kernels and White Water Ice Cream) and it would be nice to see them prosper. Maybe the loss of anglers will be offset by a gain in kayakers.
Back in August of 2011 I wrote about how the north shore of the river here is accessible to anglers. Apparently nobody is passing on that information to the anglers. I think I've written about it four times now and this will be the last time. They don't show up, it will be their loss.
I'll keep spreading the word to the kayakers to come visit instead.