Crews search for missing boater on Kenosha County lake

KENOSHA COUNTY (WITI) -- Authorities are searching Silver Lake in Kenosha County for a missing fisherman from McHenry, Illinois. The search is considered a recovery mission at this point.

The search began Tuesday night, September 16th after family members of 66-year-old John Spoor reported that he had not returned home from a fishing trip. Officials say Spoor had left home around 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, and was supposed to return home by 4:00 p.m.

The Kenosha Joint Services Dispatch Center received a call just before 10 p.m. to check for a missing fisherman’s vehicle.  The Village of Silver Lake Police Department was dispatched and began this search.  At 10:34 p.m. Kenosha County Sheriff’s Deputies joined efforts to locate Spoor.

Officers say Spoor's vehicle and boat trailer were found at the DNR landing on Silver Lake. His boat was located in some weeds against the shoreline on the north side of the lake. The motor was dead. Spoor's cell phone, a cup of coffee and his fishing gear were found in the boat.

"We're not exactly sure if the boat landed in the same spot the gentlemen did. He may or may not have fallen out someplace else and the boat may have trolled itself over to this location. So we're really at a loss of where he might be," Kenosha Sheriff David Beth said.

Boats from the Wisconsin DNR, Kenosha Sheriff’s Department, Village of Silver Lake Police Department and Salem Rescue are being utilized.  Additionally, sonar equipment from Lake County, IL is being utilized to search underwater.  A citizen also volunteered a pontoon boat in order to shuttle equipment to and from the waters. Air One, a law enforcement coalition helicopter assisted with the search on Wednesday afternoon.

Wednesday's weather helped the search, but what is under the water was making it difficult.

Air One estimated visibility at about 10 feet deep, given the favorable sunshine and weather conditions.  Air One was not able to locate anything in that depth of water or along the shoreline of Silver Lake.  Sonar equipment continues to be used to check the remainder of the deeper waters of Silver Lake.

"The terrain underneath the water level is difficult in making it hard for them to see," Sgt. Mike Weyker with the Kenosha County Sheriff's Department said.

Authorities have said Spoor is an experienced fisherman who fishes on Silver Lake often.

Search teams continued the search until 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. We're told the search will resume on Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m.