IDNR Announces Drawing for Rock/Pecatonica River Commercial Fishing Contracts
Springfield, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today announced the drawing for six Rock/Pecatonica River commercial fishing contracts will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 16, 2012, at the IDNR Regional office, located at 2317 E. Lincolnway, Sterling, IL 61081.
Any licensed commercial fisherman with a minimum of 15 hoop nets or three 100-yard trammel nets with a bar mesh size of 2-3/4 inch or larger who has not been found guilty of a Fish and Aquatic Life Code or Fish Administrative Rules violation within the past 12 months is eligible for the Rock/Pecatonica contract drawing. Fishermen must be in attendance when contracts are awarded on a first draw-first choice basis and must post a $300 bond. The Rock/Pecatonica River contracts are for the period April 1, 2012 through March 31, 2013. The contractor or crew members may use hoop nets or trammel nets having a bar mesh size of 2-3/4 inches or larger. All gear must be licensed by the contractor.
Species that may be harvested on the contracts are carp, buffalo, freshwater drum, suckers, carpsuckers, gar, bowfin, grass carp, Asian carp, and gizzard shad. All other fish species including catfish and bullheads must be released immediately. Commercial fishing for these species of fish has occured on the Rock River since prior to the 1950s. The IDNR issues contracts annually for the removal of these fishes to help enhance sport fish populations on the Rock River. ‘Rough’ fishes such as carp and buffalo compete directly with sport fish fishes for food resources and spawning habitat. The program has proven to be successful as during the last 10 years in excess of two million pounds of rough fish, with an estimated wholesale value of approximately $400,000, have been harvested from the Rock River.
For further information, contact Rob Maher at 618/468-2852.