Having installed a number of boat lifts and docks for almost 23 years now, Steve Lucas is no stranger to the Rock River.
The owner of Rock River Enterprises & Barge says, drought conditions have taken a toll on the river levels.
"It's got the river lower than it normally is in August, and we're only in July. So we're a little nervous as to what could happen if we don't get any rain by the time next month rolls around," said Lucas.
According to Lucas, water levels for the Rock River in downtown Rockford normally sits around 704 feet. This year it's fluctuating around 703.4 ft.
As the water level drops, sandbars become more dangerous to boaters. With docks floating lower, some owners are having trouble launching their boats.
"It's more difficult for people to get in and out of their boat at their docks. Their boat lifts are starting to be high and dry. It's just we're running out of water," said Lucas.
Running out of water is a strong concern for Lucas. He believes the Fordham Dam isn't doing its job.
"Now we are at drought levels, the gates are all supposed to be closed, but they are not. There's probably open still about 6-inches," he said.
However, a spokesperson for ComEd says, it simply isn't true.
"So the gates are totally close to try to hold back as much water as possible, but that's for the center section. The spillway side on either side is that level is still lower than the overall pool so water continues to go over the top of that," said Paul Callighan.
Lucas has been staying busy by re-adjusting the docks and boat lifts for customers.
Hoping for some sign of relief to come soon.
"All we can do is pray for rain and just tell boaters to be cautions out there when they see the orange buoys.They're usually marking sandbar and to stay away from them," said Lucas.