Island Lake considers restricting fishing access

ISLAND LAKE – Island Lake might close to outside fishermen.

The Lake Management Committee recommended in a 7-1 vote Saturday morning that the Village Board restrict on-lake fishing to residents and their guests.

The proposal would affect only people ice fishing or fishing from boats, not from where it's currently allowed in public parks, said Ken Wick, the committee's vice chairman.

The committee also unanimously recommended limits on the quantity, type and size of fish that can be kept.

The proposals, which require board approval, were designed to deal with two issues surrounding use of the lake.

The first is overfishing of the lake's stock, Wick said.

Island Lake has become known as "one best fishing spots," said Trustee Mark Beeson, who as the chairman of the Parks and Recreation Committee tends to oversee lake issues for the board.

The village has a catch-and-release policy, but that doesn't apply to perch, blue gill and crappie, and while the committee hopes to increase its budget for stocking the lake, it had only $1,000 to spend this year, Wick said.

While the proposed rules won't completely eliminate all fishing by nonresidents, it will cut down on it, he said.

"We need to be aggressive, but we don't want to be so severely strict that people aren't going to enjoy themselves," Wick said.

The recommendations also are designed to minimize the risk of invasive species taking up residence in the lake.

The lake has issues with algae, but the hope is that by limiting the number of boats coming from other bodies of water, the chances of the problem getting worse are decreased, Wick said.

The lake has been neglected for the past six to eight years, he said, adding that the committee is looking into grants to improve the lake.

"We just have to get a handle on what we have," Wick said. "If everything works out, we can look at it again in the future, but we have to protect what we have."

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