Yep. Soon, you can go spearing catfish in Illinois... with a pitchfork.
Effective April, 1st, 2017, spearing catfish with a pitchfork will now be legal in Illinois. This may sound sort of shocking, but spearing other fish in Illinois has been legal for sometime. However, catfish have just been added to the list.
"I would imagine there's not a whole lot of people off Michigan Avenue near the Chicago River taking fish with pitchforks," said State Rep. Tim Butler in an interview. "We might have people going to the capitol with pitchforks for some reasons, but certainly this probably was news to some of my colleagues from the city of Chicago."
This bill actually caught several lawmakers by surprise. You see, it was brought up during a lull session over the summer and passed. Now, there is little anyone can do about it.
"These are ways we take fish in the state of Illinois and across the country and certainly I know, especially from the bowfishing perspective, that's a fairly popular activity with folk," Butler said. "So certainly nothing new to those of us who represent rural areas."
As of now, there will be no daily bag limit on any catfish in Illinois taken by pitchfork. The Illinois DNR just doesn't predict much of an impact from this new method of fishing, if at all.