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Budget request latest in efforts to spruce up Island Lake

Published: Friday, Jan. 17, 2014 4:24 p.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 11:23 p.m. CDT

ISLAND LAKE – More money for stocking Island Lake is the latest in a series of proposals put forth by the village’s Lake Management Committee as it looks to improve the largely neglected lake, its vice chairman said.

The budget proposal is still being put together, but the current draft requests the line item dedicated to stocking the lake with fish be returned to previous levels, committee Vice Chairman Ken Wick said.

The line item had been reduced this past year to $1,000 from $2,500, he said.

The budget draft also includes reductions to weed control, which dropped from over $18,000 two years ago to $11,000 this past year, Wick said. The village has been trying different weed control methods, spraying part of the lake instead of all of it.

The goal is to keep about 30 percent of the weeds because they can increase oxygen levels, Wick said. The village has hired a boat patrol officer to enforce the village’s boat sticker ordinance and catch-and-release rules, which were updated last month to limit the size and amount that can be harvested for 10 additional species of fish in an effort to prevent overfishing.

Further updates to the creel and size limits will be based on recommendations made by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and would have to be approved by the Village Board, Wick said.

The committee also has been discussing a controversial proposal that would limit fishing access to residents and their guests.

The renewed interest in the lake followed the addition of six new members to the eight-person committee, including Wick who joined this past May.

“I think it’s an energetic group of people,” he said. “We all get along. We all have the same focuses. We don’t want to kick the can down the road.”

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