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Illinois Compiled Statutes

Information maintained by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Updating the database of the Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS) is an ongoing process. Recent laws may not yet be included in the ILCS database, but they are found on this site as Public Acts soon after they become law. For information concerning the relationship between statutes and Public Acts, refer to the Guide.

Because the statute database is maintained primarily for legislative drafting purposes, statutory changes are sometimes included in the statute database before they take effect. If the source note at the end of a Section of the statutes includes a Public Act that has not yet taken effect, the version of the law that is currently in effect may have already been removed from the database and you should refer to that Public Act to see the changes made to the current law.

FISH
(515 ILCS 5/) Fish and Aquatic Life Code.

515 ILCS 5/Art. 15

 
    (515 ILCS 5/Art. 15 heading)
ARTICLE 15. COMMERCIAL FISHING

515 ILCS 5/15-5

    (515 ILCS 5/15-5) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-5)
    Sec. 15-5. Commercial fisherman; license requirement.
    (a) A "commercial fisherman" is defined as any individual who uses any of the commercial fishing devices as defined by this Code for the taking of any aquatic life, except mussels, protected by the terms of this Code.
    (b) All commercial fishermen shall have a commercial fishing license. In addition to a commercial fishing license, a commercial fisherman shall also obtain a sport fishing license. All individuals assisting a licensed commercial fisherman in taking aquatic life, except mussels, from any waters of the State must have a commercial fishing license unless these individuals are under the direct supervision of and aboard the same watercraft as the licensed commercial fisherman. An individual assisting a licensed commercial fisherman must first obtain a sport fishing license.
    (c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, blind residents or residents with a disability may fish with commercial fishing devices without holding a sports fishing license. For the purpose of this Section, an individual is blind or has a disability if that individual has a Class 2 disability as defined in Section 4A of the Illinois Identification Card Act. For the purposes of this Section, an Illinois person with a Disability Identification Card issued under the Illinois Identification Card Act indicating that the individual named on the card has a Class 2 disability shall be adequate documentation of a disability.
    (d) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a veteran who, according to the determination of the federal Veterans' Administration as certified by the Department of Veterans' Affairs, is at least 10% disabled with service-related disabilities or in receipt of total disability pensions may fish with commercial fishing devices without holding a sports fishing license during those periods of the year that it is lawful to fish with commercial fishing devices, if the respective disabilities do not prevent the veteran from fishing in a manner that is safe to him or herself and others.
    (e) A "Lake Michigan commercial fisherman" is defined as an individual who resides in this State or an Illinois corporation who uses any of the commercial fishing devices as defined by this Code for the taking of aquatic life, except mussels, protected by the terms of this Code.
    (f) For purposes of this Section, an act or omission that constitutes a violation committed by an officer, employee, or agent of a corporation shall be deemed the act or omission of the corporation.
(Source: P.A. 98-336, eff. 1-1-14; 98-898, eff. 1-1-15; 99-143, eff. 7-27-15.)

515 ILCS 5/15-10

    (515 ILCS 5/15-10) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-10)
    Sec. 15-10. Commercial musselor; license. A "commercial musselor" is defined as any individual who takes mussels by hand, except as provided by administrative rule, or who uses any of the mussel devices defined by this Code for the taking of mussels protected by the terms of this Code.
    All commercial musselors shall have a commercial mussel license. All individuals assisting a licensed commercial musselor in taking mussels from any waters of this State must have a commercial mussel license.
(Source: P.A. 87-833.)

515 ILCS 5/15-15

    (515 ILCS 5/15-15) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-15)
    Sec. 15-15. Commercial fishing devices. "Commercial fishing devices" for the purposes of this Code are defined as follows: buoyed gangings, set gangings, bank pole and line, throw line or trot line having more than 50 hooks, seine, pocket seine, otter trawl, dip net, throw net, gill net, trammel net, basket trap, hoop net, wing net, pound net, trap net, any watercraft used as a primary collection device, and any and all other devices considered as commercial devices by the Department when used in the taking of any aquatic life, except mussels, protected by the terms of this Code.
(Source: P.A. 98-336, eff. 1-1-14.)

515 ILCS 5/15-20

    (515 ILCS 5/15-20) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-20)
    Sec. 15-20. Commercial fish species designated by the Department; method of taking. Bloater chubs, smelt, and yellow perch may be taken in Lake Michigan with gill nets or dip nets but no other net shall be used for taking these fish in Lake Michigan. All trout, including lake trout, salmon, and lake whitefish may not be taken by commercial fishing devices, including gill or pound nets. Any incidental catch of trout, including lake trout, salmon, and lake whitefish taken in legal sized gill or pound nets must be returned immediately to the water. The methods of taking are subject to modification by administrative rule based upon lake-wide scientific assessment data or fishery management need.
(Source: P.A. 100-168, eff. 1-1-18.)

515 ILCS 5/15-25

    (515 ILCS 5/15-25) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-25)
    Sec. 15-25. Making holes in ice. Holes cut in ice for the purpose of seining and netting shall be marked so as to be clearly visible.
(Source: P.A. 87-833.)

515 ILCS 5/15-30

    (515 ILCS 5/15-30) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-30)
    Sec. 15-30. (Repealed).
(Source: P.A. 87-833. Repealed by P.A. 100-168, eff. 1-1-18.)

515 ILCS 5/15-32

    (515 ILCS 5/15-32) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-32)
    Sec. 15-32. Lake Michigan commercial licenses.
    (a) The Department may issue a maximum of 5 commercial licenses for taking from the Illinois waters of Lake Michigan yellow perch, bloater chub, and other commercial fish species designated by Department rule. All licenses issued under this Section shall be valid for a period of 3 years. The catch limits established by the Department for the taking of yellow perch, bloater chub, and other designated commercial fish species shall be the same for all active licensees.
    (b) At times determined by the Director, the Department shall advertise a public drawing to accept new qualified commercial fishing candidates and establish a ranking order for these new candidates to fill open Lake Michigan commercial fishing licenses. This ranking order shall continue to be used until the list of eligible candidates is exhausted.
(Source: P.A. 100-169, eff. 1-1-18.)

515 ILCS 5/15-35

    (515 ILCS 5/15-35) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-35)
    Sec. 15-35. Mussels; open season. Mussels may be taken only during the period of April 1 to September 30, both inclusive, and then only from sunrise to sunset and only by means of crowfoot bars or hand picking, with or without the aid of air breathing apparatus. Mussels may be taken from the Mississippi, Ohio, Wabash, and Illinois rivers. Mussel fishing is permitted in other waters only upon written authorization from the Department.
(Source: P.A. 90-490, eff. 8-17-97.)

515 ILCS 5/15-40

    (515 ILCS 5/15-40) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-40)
    Sec. 15-40. Mussels; size limit. All mussels taken shall be not less than 2 1/2 inches on the shortest line from the center of the hinge side and at a right angle across the shell to the outer edge.
(Source: P.A. 87-833.)

515 ILCS 5/15-45

    (515 ILCS 5/15-45) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-45)
    Sec. 15-45. Commercial possession. Any person operating commercial fishing or mussel devices shall have in his or her possession only those species of aquatic life specified in administrative rules.
(Source: P.A. 89-66, eff. 1-1-96.)

515 ILCS 5/15-46

    (515 ILCS 5/15-46)
    Sec. 15-46. Taking of roe-bearing species by commercial device.
    (a) All commercial fishermen shall procure a commercial roe harvest permit in addition to their commercial fishing license before taking roe-bearing species with commercial fishing devices from the waters of the State legally open to commercial fishing. Any person found guilty of a violation of this subsection (a) is subject to the penalties provided in Section 20-91 of this Code.
    (b) Any incidental catch of aquatic life not authorized for taking with commercial devices must be returned immediately without harm to the water. Any person found guilty of a violation of this subsection (b) is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.
(Source: P.A. 95-147, eff. 8-14-07.)

515 ILCS 5/15-50

    (515 ILCS 5/15-50) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-50)
    Sec. 15-50. Regulation. Except as provided in Section 20-90 no person shall buy, sell or barter, or offer to buy, sell or barter, nor shall any commercial institution or any regularly operated refrigerated storage establishment have in its possession, aquatic life protected by this Code except those species taken under the conditions and of the size described in Sections 15-55 and 15-60 and administrative rules pertaining to the taking of commercial fish or mussels. Any person who is found guilty of violating this Section shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
(Source: P.A. 87-833.)

515 ILCS 5/15-55

    (515 ILCS 5/15-55) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-55)
    Sec. 15-55. Aquatic life taken outside State and brought into State. When legally taken from waters wholly outside the jurisdiction of the State of Illinois and legally transported into the State of Illinois, any aquatic life of a legal size in the place of origin shall be deemed to be of legal size in the State of Illinois if all containers in which the aquatic life are contained or transported are clearly labeled with the State and county of origin and also bear the name and mailing address of the party having transported the aquatic life into the State of Illinois. Any aquatic life not labeled as provided in this Section is prima facie evidence that protected aquatic life has been taken in the State of Illinois.
(Source: P.A. 87-833.)

515 ILCS 5/15-60

    (515 ILCS 5/15-60) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-60)
    Sec. 15-60. Legal size; various species. When taken from waters wholly or in part within the boundaries of the State of Illinois, except from the Ohio River, the following species shall be not less in size than provided in this Section: channel catfish, flathead catfish, blue catfish, or white catfish, 15 inches in length undressed or 12 inches in length dressed.
(Source: P.A. 90-57, eff. 1-1-98.)

515 ILCS 5/15-65

    (515 ILCS 5/15-65) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-65)
    Sec. 15-65. Modification by rule. The provisions of Sections 15-20 through 15-60 are subject to modification by administrative rule.
(Source: P.A. 87-833.)

515 ILCS 5/15-70

    (515 ILCS 5/15-70) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-70)
    Sec. 15-70. Proof of taking in another state. Failure to establish proof that aquatic life protected by this Code was legally acquired in another state and then imported into the State of Illinois is prima facie evidence that the aquatic life was taken within the State of Illinois.
(Source: P.A. 87-833.)

515 ILCS 5/15-75

    (515 ILCS 5/15-75) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-75)
    Sec. 15-75. Record of catch; inspection of record. Commercial fishermen, musselors, and commercial roe harvesters shall keep an accurate record of their catch. This record, showing the species and number of pounds of fish, mussels, or roe taken, type of commercial devices used, and location from which taken, shall be open for inspection by the employees of the Department at all times. This information shall be submitted to the Department on forms furnished for that purpose by the Department and at intervals prescribed by the Department. Failure to submit reports, as required, shall be grounds for license suspension or revocation.
(Source: P.A. 95-147, eff. 8-14-07.)

515 ILCS 5/15-80

    (515 ILCS 5/15-80) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-80)
    Sec. 15-80. Otter trawl. It is unlawful for any person to use any otter trawl or modified bag seine used in the manner of an otter trawl in any of the waters within the jurisdiction of this State. In the waters of Lake Michigan under the jurisdiction of the State of Illinois, however, an otter trawl or other developmental commercial fishing gear operated by suitable boat or launch may be used in accordance with regulatory provisions provided by the Department as a cooperative measure with other States bordering the Great Lakes, including United States and Canadian governmental agencies.
(Source: P.A. 87-833.)

515 ILCS 5/15-85

    (515 ILCS 5/15-85) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-85)
    Sec. 15-85. Dragging nets. It shall be unlawful to pull, drag, haul, or draw to, towards, or near the shore of any body of water, or to or against a backstop, a net device of any kind except a seine. Nothing in this Section, however, shall prohibit the use of a trammel or gill net attached to a single boat while the net is being placed, set, or adjusted.
(Source: P.A. 95-147, eff. 8-14-07.)

515 ILCS 5/15-90

    (515 ILCS 5/15-90) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-90)
    Sec. 15-90. Nets or seines in Lake Michigan. It shall be unlawful to set, drift, or drag any net or seine except a minnow seine in Lake Michigan within 1,000 yards of any pier or pillar or of the low water mark on the shore line.
(Source: P.A. 87-833.)

515 ILCS 5/15-95

    (515 ILCS 5/15-95) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-95)
    Sec. 15-95. Dragging trot, set, or throw lines. It shall be unlawful to drag, pull, or move through the water any trot, set, or throw line in a manner that snares or causes hooks to be drawn into the body of the fish.
(Source: P.A. 87-833.)

515 ILCS 5/15-100

    (515 ILCS 5/15-100) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-100)
    Sec. 15-100. Length and mesh size of seine. Except as provided in Sections 20-5 through 20-25, any person may use a single seine not exceeding 100 yards in length of 1 1/2 inch bar measurement. In all seines over 100 yards in length it shall be unlawful at any time to use any mesh less than 2 inch bar measurement except that all seines over 100 yards in length may have a section of the seine not more than 300 feet in length of 1 1/2 inch bar measurement. No seine shall be more than 1500 yards in length. If seines are more than 200 yards in length they must be operated with a backstop constructed of vertical slats not less than 1 1/4 inches apart or 3 inch bar measurement netting or of chicken wire or metallic cloths of not less than 1 1/2 inches square and shall not be dragged or otherwise operated in less than 2 feet of water.
(Source: P.A. 87-833.)

515 ILCS 5/15-105

    (515 ILCS 5/15-105) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-105)
    Sec. 15-105. Devices near spillways, fishways, lakes, and dams. It shall be unlawful to use or operate any commercial devices within 300 yards above or below all spillways, fishways, or locks or dams of any type or in a manner that obstructs more than one-half the width of any stream or watercourse.
(Source: P.A. 87-833.)

515 ILCS 5/15-110

    (515 ILCS 5/15-110) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-110)
    Sec. 15-110. Seines for minnows or crayfish. It is unlawful to use a seine for the taking of minnows or crayfish that has mesh larger than 1/2 inch bar measurement or is larger than 20 feet in length or 6 feet in depth. Minnow seines used in waters designated by the Department by administrative rule for commercial fishing, however, may be of any length but not more than 6 feet in depth with a bag not more than 6 feet in length.
    Minnow traps are unlawful if they are more than 24 inches in width or diameter or 36 inches in length or use a mesh more than 1/2 inch bar measurement. Minnow dip nets shall be unlawful if they are more than 48 inches in width or diameter.
(Source: P.A. 87-833.)

515 ILCS 5/15-115

    (515 ILCS 5/15-115) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-115)
    Sec. 15-115. Basket traps and hoop nets. Except as provided in Section 20-25, it is unlawful to use any basket trap other than a basket trap constructed of wood or plastic slats. A legal trap must have an unobstructed opening or openings in the rear end of the trap not less than 1 1/2 inches square. It is unlawful to use a hoop net of mesh less than 1 inch bar measurement, or attached wings and leads of a material smaller than number 9 twine.
(Source: P.A. 87-833.)

515 ILCS 5/15-120

    (515 ILCS 5/15-120) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-120)
    Sec. 15-120. Mesh size of dip nets. It shall be unlawful to use any dip net having a mesh less than 1 1/2 inches bar measurement or more than 15 feet square or in diameter.
(Source: P.A. 87-833.)

515 ILCS 5/15-125

    (515 ILCS 5/15-125) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-125)
    Sec. 15-125. Live box or live net. All live boxes and live nets in which any aquatic life protected by this Code is held shall be plainly labeled with the name and address of the owner.
(Source: P.A. 87-833.)

515 ILCS 5/15-130

    (515 ILCS 5/15-130) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-130)
    Sec. 15-130. Gill or trammel net. It shall be unlawful to use a gill or trammel net except in the Mississippi River, in the Ohio River, and in the Illinois River from its mouth up to the Illinois River bridge, Highway Route 89, including adjacent backwaters but not above the mouth of any stream, ditch, or tributary connected to these backwaters. No trammel net used under this Section shall have meshes less than 2 inches bar measurement and no gill net used under this Section shall have meshes less than 4 inches bar measurement. No gill or trammel net shall be less than 100 feet in length.
    All gill or trammel nets that are set in any body of water shall be under the immediate supervision of the operator, who may be the licensee or his or her employee, except (i) from May 1 to September 30, (ii) when the nets are set under the ice, (iii) from sunset to sunrise, or (iv) as specified by administrative rule. Immediate supervision shall be defined as the operator being on the waters where the nets are set to be readily available to identify the nets to law enforcement officers empowered to enforce this Code. It shall be unlawful for any employee on any one day to lift or attend nets of more than one licensee.
    All gill or trammel nets set under the ice shall be at a distance of not less than 100 yards from any natural opening in the ice.
    The Department may modify provisions of this Section as provided in Section 1-135.
(Source: P.A. 95-147, eff. 8-14-07.)

515 ILCS 5/15-135

    (515 ILCS 5/15-135) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-135)
    Sec. 15-135. License in possession.
    (a) It is unlawful, for the purposes of operation of fishing or musseling devices, (i) for licensed commercial fishermen or musselors to loan licenses to any other individual, or (ii) for any person to possess the license of another.
    (b) It shall be unlawful to disturb in any manner the licensed devices of another person without consent of that person.
(Source: P.A. 95-147, eff. 8-14-07.)

515 ILCS 5/15-140

    (515 ILCS 5/15-140) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-140)
    Sec. 15-140. Spacing of hooks. All trot lines, throw lines, or similar devices except trolley or power lines used in Lake Michigan shall have hooks spaced at intervals of not less than 24 inches.
(Source: P.A. 87-833.)

515 ILCS 5/15-145

    (515 ILCS 5/15-145) (from Ch. 56, par. 15-145)
    Sec. 15-145. Tagging commercial devices. It shall be the responsibility of each person licensed as a commercial fisherman or musselor to furnish and attach to each commercial device being used a metal tag inscribed with the name and address of the licensee. Absence of this tagging shall be prima facie evidence that the commercial fishing or mussel device or devices are illegally used and the devices shall be confiscated and disposed of as directed by the Department.
(Source: P.A. 87-833.)

515 ILCS 5/15-150

    (515 ILCS 5/15-150)
    Sec. 15-150. (Repealed).
(Source: P.A. 87-833. Repealed by P.A. 95-147, eff. 8-14-07.)

515 ILCS 5/15-155

    (515 ILCS 5/15-155)
    Sec. 15-155. Watercraft used as a primary collection device for commercial fishes. Any person licensed as a commercial fisherman who wishes to use his or her watercraft as a primary collection device for commercial fishes must first obtain a commercial watercraft device tag. All watercraft used as a primary collection device must be legally licensed by the State and be in compliance with all Coast Guard boating regulations. This Section does not apply to any person taking Asian Carp by the aid of a boat for non-commercial purposes.
(Source: P.A. 98-336, eff. 1-1-14; 99-78, eff. 7-20-15.)