Illinois lawmakers want to outlaw fishing with sharp objects along highways

Illinois lawmakers want to outlaw fishing with sharp objects along highways

Recent Illinois House votes aim to protect the state and its residents from pitchfork fishing along highways and from releasing too many balloons. The state’s big problems remain ignored.

The Illinois House on April 22 voted to make it illegal to take aquatic life using a pitchfork, underwater spear gun, gig, slingshot or bow-and-arrow device from any public right-of-way or highway.

Sponsored by state Rep. Charles Meier, R-Okawville, the bill amends the Fish and Aquatic Life Code to keep pitchfork-wielding fishermen off public highways and right-of-ways. The implements are still allowed to catch carp, catfish, buffalo, suckers, gar, bowfin, shad and drum fish species – but not along the roads.

House Bill 3756 passed the House with only one “no” vote.

While state representative are in near-unanimous agreement that Illinoisans should not be using pitchforks to nab catfish from highways, and on April 21 agreed Illinoisans should not release more than 49 balloons at a time, other issues do not appear to be getting much attention in the Statehouse.

Illinois has $317 billion in public pension debt eating away at state finances. Illinoisans pay the highest state and local tax burden in the nation and the No. 2 property taxes. The Illinois exodus continues, with the state last year seeing the worst population loss since World War II.

All the recent attention by lawmakers to the minnows leaves residents vulnerable to being eaten by the whales, or at least of being skewered like a sucker.

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