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Jeff Lampe
Jeff Lampe

Jeff Lampe has been outdoor writer at the Journal Star in Peoria for 12 duck seasons. He lives in Elmwood with his wife Monica, sons Henry, Victor and Walter, and Llewellin setter Hawkeye. A native of Buffalo, N.Y., he is an avid fan of the Bills and still has mental scars from four consecutive Super Bowl losses. Outside of hunting and fishing, Lampe's main passion in Illinois was Class A boys basketball (which sadly no longer exists). Former publisher of the Class A Weekly newsletter, Lampe is a co-author of "100 Years of Madness" and "Classical Madness," both books focusing on prep basketball in Illinois.

Illinois Outdoors


A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

A reply to the bowfishing debate

August 27, 2009 at 06:33 PM

In response to the recent debate about bowfishing for native fish species, Ray Thompson of the Illini Muskies Alliance sent this letter to Department of Natural Resources fisheries head Steve Pallo.

“This letter is in response to the recent comments expressed by Ed DeVries, President of the Bowfishing Association of Illinois (BAI) in Dale Bowman’s’ Stray Casts Blog in the Chicago Sun-Times . Basically, Mr. DeVries would like the statutes to be changed to allow harvest of both native and non-native Illinois fish species by bowfishing.

“Currently, the Department does not allow bowfishing (nor snagging, netting, spearing, dynamiting, etc.) for most “sport” species. There is a very good reason for these distinctions. Many sport species, such as bass, walleye and muskie, are regulated with specific size and harvest restrictions. These restrictions have evolved over time with the recommendations of site biologist to enable these species to grow to desirable sizes and/or establish specific densities before being harvested. These restrictions enable these species to establish fishable populations that provide quality fisheries or maintain desirable predator/prey levels.

“I submit that bowfishing would not allow minimum size limits to be adhered to. Unlike catch and release fishing, not many sport fish could be successfully released after being impaled by an arrow.

“Groups such as ours have worked very hard in cooperation with the Department over the years to establish our present fisheries, donating thousands of man-hours, and tens of thousands of dollars in money and equipment needs. We hope that the Department will not support the wishes of BAI and leave Illinois fish management to the professionals.”



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