Rock River begins west of West Bend, Wisconsin and runs south to Illinois and then southwest toward the Mississippi River. The river passes through Waterown, WI, Janesville, WI, Rockford IL, Sterling/Rock Falls, IL and finally through Rock Island, IL where the Rock River meets the Mississippi River. Rock River is about 285 miles long.
Originally, those who settled in the area saw Rock River as a method of transportation, but the railroad came into place. The river supplied the power to the mills that were originally in the area. The City of Rock Falls gets is power today from the hydroelectric dam and the river supplies some cooling capabilities to the industry.
Ronald Reagan was once a lifeguard on the Rock River in Dixon. His favorite fishing hole is named “Dutch Landing” and is located southwest of Lowell Park on the Rock River; Reagan’s nickname was “Dutch.”
Rock River is mostly used for pleasure and recreation. Many people fish for catfish in this river because the area is known for having great channel catfish. Flathead catfish weighing 45-50 pounds are known to be found in Rock River. The river is also well supplied with sauger, small-mouth bass, walleye, white bass, drum and bluegill. Besides fishing, many people enjoy boating, water skiing, jet skiing and paddling.