When Illinois Fish and Wildlife officials consider changing the license, they’ll need to find a new way to collect fish October 30, 2021 October 30, 2021 admin

The Fish and Game Commission will have to consider changing how it collects fish in Illinois, after the state Legislature passed a bill Tuesday that would prohibit the commission from issuing fishing licenses to individuals with a license to fish in the state.

The law also would make it more difficult for agencies to renew licenses for fish caught off state land.

The bill, S.B. 781, was sponsored by Republican Sen. Jim Steinehart of Lake Zurich, who argued the license could be used to illegally hunt betta fish.

It passed the Senate with a 28-13 vote.

“If you are going to be able to hunt batoas, it’s going to have to be a different way,” Steineham said.

“It has to be an individual license.

We don’t have a mechanism to enforce that right.

That’s what this bill is designed to do.”

The bill would require the Fish and Gameland Commission to submit a proposed rule to the Legislature in the next two years, and it would be subject to the approval of the full House and Senate.

That is likely to take years, since it has not been passed by the General Assembly in the past two years.

“This is a very complex issue and this is a difficult issue to resolve,” Steiner said.

“(It’s) a complicated subject to deal with.

We’re going to need to come up with something that’s really effective and that works.”

He said the Fish & Gameland commission would likely be working with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to develop a way to determine if a license was valid.

A DNR spokesman declined to comment.

He said it was important for DNR officials to know how many licenses are in existence and if any were issued improperly.

If a license is issued, it would become an administrative license, meaning it would need to be renewed by the Fish&Garden Commission every five years, said DNR spokeswoman Kim Henson.

Steiner noted the DNR would be required to issue a new license every five to 10 years, after it reviews the state’s current license system.

But if the current system is too cumbersome, it could be easier to issue one of these administrative licenses to an individual with a fishing license who doesn’t live in the State, Steinehammer said.

The DNR is currently investigating whether to change how it issues licenses to the public.