Island Lake approves fishing regulations

ISLAND LAKE – New fishing limits were unanimously approved by the Island Lake Village Board on Thursday evening.

The new regulations limit the size and amount that can be harvested for 10 species of fish in an effort to prevent overfishing.

The village’s previous catch-and-release policy didn’t apply to panfish, including crappie, which is limited to 10 a day, and yellow bass and bluegill, which are limited to 15 a day.

The numbers will be reassessed following an Illinois Department of Natural Resources survey that is to be conducted in the spring, said Ken Wick, vice chairman of the village’s Lake Management Committee.

The Village Board will have to approve any changes, but the plan is to follow the IDNR’s recommendations, Wick said.

The ordinance doesn’t include a more controversial provision that would restrict on-lake fishing to residents and their guests.

That provision is still under discussion by the Lake Management Committee.

While the size and daily creel limits “are a step in the right direction” for addressing overfishing concerns, the nonresident restriction would also be aimed at limiting contamination and the spread of invasive species, Wick said.

“It eliminates a little bit of that possibility,” he said, adding that while residents can still contribute to contamination, they are “more apt to be respectful, more cautious because it’s their lake.”