The new fishing regulations guides are here! The new fishing regulations guides are here!

Those old enough might remember Steve Martin in “The Jerk,” a classic movie in which Martin played an off-kilter character who got visibly and audibly excited over the simplest things.
“The new phone books are here! The new phone books are here!” was his response when, well, the new phone book arrived.
I kind of feel the same way when DNR’s annual Fishing Information Guide shows up. Of course, these days the booklet arrives in a digital format, allowing users to download the booklet onto their computers. Even in February, the guide makes summer fishing seem within reach.
Anyway, did I mention, “The new fishing regulations guides are here! The new fishing regulations guides are here!”
The 2017 version, which covers the period from April 1, 2017 through March 31, 2018, is now available at www.ifishillinois.org.
According to DNR, some guides are being printed, but not immediately and in much smaller quantities than in the past.
As in the past, the 2017 edition has an updated summary of statewide fishing regulations in Illinois, as well as details on site-specific regulations that are organized by the body of water.
There is a page on state record fish, information on fish species found in the state and all kinds of details about programs and projects.
If nothing else, I usually learn something by browsing through the regulations. For example, the statewide regulation on length limits says that “1.) Length is measured from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail with the fish laid flat on a ruler, with the mouth of the fish closed and the tail lobes pressed together; and 2.) No fish species may be dressed (filleted or head and tail removed) on any waters to which length limits are applicable. Regardless of where taken, no fish less than the specified minimum length or more than the daily harvest shall be possessed while taking from, or on the waters to which length limits and/or daily harvest limits apply.”
I did not know the fish’s mouth had to be closed.
By the way, the 2017 book features Wayne Herndon, who retired from the DNR, on the cover. Herndon, a fisheries biologist with 45 years of service, is holding a bluegill.

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