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515 ILCS 5/20-5

    (515 ILCS 5/20-5) (from Ch. 56, par. 20-5)
    Sec. 20-5. Necessity of license; exemptions.
    (a) Any person taking or attempting to take any fish, including minnows for commercial purposes, turtles, mussels, crayfish, or frogs by any means whatever in any waters or lands wholly or in part within the jurisdiction of the State, including that part of Lake Michigan under the jurisdiction of this State, shall first obtain a license to do so, and shall do so only during the respective periods of the year when it shall be lawful as provided in this Code. Individuals under 16, blind residents or residents with a disability, or individuals fishing at fee fishing areas licensed by the Department, however, may fish with sport fishing devices without being required to have a license. For the purpose of this Section an individual is blind or has a disability if that individual has a Class 2 disability as defined in Section 4A of the Illinois Identification Card Act. For purposes of this Section an Illinois Person with a Disability Identification Card issued under the Illinois Identification Card Act indicating that the individual named on the card has a Class 2 disability shall be adequate documentation of a disability.
    (b) A courtesy non-resident sport fishing license or stamp may be issued at the discretion of the Director, without fee, to (i) any individual officially employed in the wildlife and fish or conservation department of another state or of the United States who is within the State to assist or consult or cooperate with the Director or (ii) the officials of other states, the United States, foreign countries, or officers or representatives of conservation organizations or publications while in the State as guests of the Governor or Director.
    (c) The Director may issue special fishing permits without cost to groups of hospital patients or to individuals with disabilities for use on specified dates in connection with supervised fishing for therapy.
    (d) Veterans who, according to the determination of the Veterans' Administration as certified by the Department of Veterans' Affairs, are at least 10% disabled with service-related disabilities or in receipt of total disability pensions may fish with sport fishing devices during those periods of the year it is lawful to do so without being required to have a license, on the condition that their respective disabilities do not prevent them from fishing in a manner which is safe to themselves and others.
    (e) Each year the Director may designate a period, not to exceed 4 days in duration, when sport fishermen may fish waters wholly or in part within the jurisdiction of the State, including that part of Lake Michigan under the jurisdiction of the State, and not be required to obtain the license or stamp required by subsection (a) of this Section, Section 20-10 or subsection (a) of Section 20-55. The term of any such period shall be established by administrative rule. This subsection shall not apply to commercial fishing.
    (f) The Director may issue special fishing permits without cost for a group event, restricted to specific dates and locations if it is determined by the Department that the event is beneficial in promoting sport fishing in Illinois.
(Source: P.A. 99-143, eff. 7-27-15.)