Illinois: No panfishing limit on Chain O’Lakes

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Chicago, IL, United States (4E Sports) – An Illinois fisheries official said it is unnecessary to impose limits on panfishing on Chain O’Lakes, saying anglers usually observe self-regulation on the number of fishes they catch.

“The typical guy is going to limit himself on how many he really wants to clean,” said Illinois Department of Natural Resources veteran biologist Frank Jakubicek.

Jakubicek made the statement after some fishermen, led by Chris Taurisano, suggested the implementation of a limit on catching panfish, especially after the ice fishing season.

”Why not put a panfish limit on the Fox Chain? People are so abusive of what they keep. You would think they live in a third-world country. I know it sustains itself year after year, but it just makes sense to have some limits,” said Taurisano.

However, Frank Jakubicek said that because the Chain is treated as a whole system, not lake by lake, ”we haven’t worried about creel limits.”

”Ice fishing can impact populations, especially in small systems,” Jakubicek said. ”But when you’re talking large systems, not so much. Fish move all over the place because it is considered an open chain.”

During ice fishing, Jakubicek explained that Chain fishermen have greater range than they do in open water.

Assistant fisheries chief Dan Stephenson, for his part, said that there’s nothing to worry about the supply of fish as the state has been able to manage its lakes/waters on a lake-by-lake basis.

“Each water body is different in so many factors and requires different management strategies. I know biologists in other states envy our ability to manage on a site-specific basis,” Stephenson said.

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