Illinois Compiled Statutes
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515 ILCS 5/20-5
(515 ILCS 5/20-5)
(from Ch. 56, par. 20-5)
Necessity of license; exemptions.
(a) Any person taking or attempting to take any fish,
including minnows for commercial purposes, turtles, mussels, crayfish, or
frogs by any means whatever in any waters or lands wholly or in part
within the jurisdiction of the State, including that part of Lake
Michigan under the jurisdiction of this State, shall first obtain a
license to do so, and shall do so only during the respective
periods of the year when it shall be lawful as provided in this Code.
Individuals under 16, blind residents or residents with a disability, or individuals fishing at
fee fishing areas licensed by the Department, however, may fish with sport
fishing devices without being required to have a license. For the purpose of this
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 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
(b) A courtesy non-resident sport fishing license or stamp may be issued
the discretion of the Director, without fee, to (i) any individual officially
employed in the wildlife and fish or conservation department of another
state or of the United States who is within the State to assist or
consult or cooperate with the Director or (ii) the officials of other
states, the United States, foreign countries, or officers or
representatives of conservation organizations or publications while in
the State as guests of the Governor or Director.
(c) The Director may issue special fishing permits without cost to
groups of hospital patients or to individuals with disabilities for
use on specified dates in connection with supervised fishing for therapy.
(d) Veterans who, according to the determination of the Veterans'
Administration as certified by the Department of Veterans' Affairs, are at
least 10% disabled with service-related disabilities or in receipt of total
disability pensions may fish with sport fishing devices
during those periods of
the year it is lawful to do so without being required to have a license,
on the condition that their respective disabilities do not prevent them
from fishing in a manner which is safe to themselves and others.
(e) Each year the Director may designate a period, not to exceed 4 days
in duration, when sport fishermen may fish waters wholly or in
part within the
jurisdiction of the State, including that part of Lake Michigan under the
jurisdiction of the State, and not be required to obtain the license or
stamp required by subsection (a) of this Section, Section 20-10 or
subsection (a) of Section 20-55. The term of any such period shall be
established by administrative rule.
This subsection shall not apply to commercial fishing.
(f) The Director may issue special fishing permits without cost for a
group event, restricted to specific dates and locations if it is determined by
the Department that the event is beneficial in promoting sport fishing in
(Source: P.A. 99-143, eff. 7-27-15.)