House Bills 3272 and 3273 give greater adjustability to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) to administer the Lake Michigan commercial fishing program.
“It is no secret that Illinois’ regulatory system is in critical need of reform,” said Jesiel. “These pieces of legislation help mitigate the restrictiveness of the regulatory system by giving the Department of Natural Resources more flexibility. Through these changes, IDNR will be able to more effectively address changing biological and economic conditions that impact the Lake Michigan commercial fishing program and avoid the bureaucratic red tape that so often holds things back in Illinois.”
Under House Bill 3272, IDNR will have the ability to update the commercial methods permitted to take fish in Lake Michigan based on changing economic and biological factors without requiring new legislation from the General Assembly. This change will allow the department to be much more responsive to changes posed by shifting lake conditions.
House Bill 3273 similarly ends a restriction under current law which mandates IDNR issue a set number of commercial fishing licenses for the Lake Michigan program. HB 3273 removes this mandate to allow the department to again respond to changing economic and biological factors of the lake to ensure licenses are issued to qualified applicants. This change addresses a drop in the number of qualified applicants and makes it easier to address pertinent concerns, such as controlling invasive pest species.
Both bills, which are initiatives of IDNR, are now in the Senate for consideration. For more information, Click Here.