After hearing from passionate anglers, Island Lake officials have rejected a plan to limit fishing on the town's namesake lake.
The plan, which had been developed and recommended by the town's lake management committee, would have required anyone fishing from a boat or ice-fishing on the lake to be a village resident or accompanied by a resident.
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Fishing from the shore would not have been limited.
The village board scheduled a public discussion about the proposal Thursday night, and the public certainly showed up.
Several fishing enthusiasts spoke against the plan. One woman talked of how she wouldn't be able to fish in the lake anymore despite her family having multigenerational ties to the community.
A few people spoke in support of regulations, too. Some complained about out-of-towners taking too many fish out of the lake and depleting the stock.
To address that concern, the proposal would have set limits for the number and size of fish a person is allowed to catch.
After the lengthy discussion, officials opted to send the plan back to the lake committee for further investigation.
"I'm glad it wasn't up for a vote last night," Trustee Keith Johns said Friday. "I think we owe it to everybody to explore all the options that are available to us before we make a decision."
The critics of the plan won the debate, as far as Johns was concerned.
"When you hear this many people who are opposed to something, it makes me want to take a harder look at it," he said.
Trustee Shannon Fox was pleased the proposal is headed back to the committee.
"I think the lake management committee needs to come up with more creative ways to protect the lake that do not include making it an exclusive, private lake," Fox said Friday.