Did You Know It’s Illegal To Smuggle Live Catfish Into IL Lake?
You can get arrested in Illinois for illegally importing live catfish into the state.
Do You Know It's Illegal To Import Live Catfish Into Illinois?
An Indiana man has pled guilty to illegally importing more than 2,600 pounds of live catfish into Illinois.
Importing and stocking untested fish significantly increases the risks to our resources and undercuts others within the industry abiding by the law.
Man Arrested For Illegally Importing Catfish Into Illinois
A man from Indiana was purchasing live catfish from Alabama and Mississippi. Then he would smuggle them into Illinois. Once he got them into our state, the suspect dumped them into a lake in Plainfield. In all, it was 2,600 pounds of live catfish. That could make for some serious fishing in that local body of water.
Importing Catfish Into Illinois Can Be Done Legally
Here's the funny thing. The suspect didn't have to smuggle the catfish into Illinois. To be legal, he just needed to get a permit from the IDNR. By the way, they are free. This isn't usually a problem here. Wildlife officials just want to make sure they are tested for diseases. If sickness is brought into the Illinois catfish population, there could be some serious issues. The courts prosecuted the suspect to its fullest power.
Honestly, I didn't even know this was a thing. I thought we had plenty of catfish in Illinois so there was no need to bring them in from another state.