Fishing rules on the agenda again in Island Lake
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A controversial overhaul of Island Lake's fishing regulations will be up for yet another public discussion Thursday night.
The town's lake management committee has forwarded two proposals to the village board in recent months, but each time trustees sent the plan back to the advisory group for revisions.
Like the second version that surfaced in November, this latest plan omits a residency requirement that sparked public outrage when it first came up in October.
That requirement would ban nonresidents from fishing from boats on the lake or on the lake itself when it's frozen unless they're accompanied by residents.
The residency clause is being reviewed separately by the committee, Chairman Ken Wick said.
The newest version of the plan strictly focuses on the types and number of fish that can be removed from the lake.
For example, anglers will be limited to one northern pike, two largemouth bass and 15 bluegill per day, among other fish.
Additionally, most fish must be tossed back into the water if they don't meet minimum size standards that are spelled out in the rules.
Three types of fish — muskellunge, smallmouth bass and perch — must be released after being caught, regardless of size, the rules state.
The limits could be revised after an Illinois Department of Natural Resources survey of the lake's fish population is completed in spring 2014, Wick said.
Officials don't know how many fish are in the lake now, he said.
"There's no way of knowing if there are 25 northern pike or 250 northern pike," Wick said.
Violators will be fined $100 for first offenses, $250 for second offenses and $750 for three or more offenses, according to the rules.
The police or authorized lake patrol officers will enforce the rules, according to the document.
If the rules are approved, they must be posted at village hall and the Eastway Park boat launch, which leads to the lake.
As for the residency rules, the committee continues to discuss the pros and cons of such limits.
"We're not rushing it," Wick said. "We're asking for ideas. We're asking for suggestions."
Thursday's meeting is set for 7:30 p.m. at village hall, 3720 Greenleaf Ave.
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