It now costs $6 to kayak, canoe or tube in Illinois
As of July 1, non-motorized watercraft, such as canoes, kayaks, even inner tubes, are required to have a valid "Water Usage Stamp" to float on Illinois lakes, streams and rivers.
State vendors, any business which offers hunting and fishing licenses, will sell the $6 stamp — also referred to as a "Paddle Pass" — plus a 50 cent service fee. Failure to buy one can result in a $120 fine, but it won't be imposed right away. Owners buying stamps for more than three boats at the same time will only be charged $3 for the fourth and subsequent stamps.
The new fee is part of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources sustainability bill, which also included the $2 annual auto license plate fee hike added to help restore $18 to $20 million per year of the $50 million per year the agency had lost to recent state budget cuts.
The requirement is new for inner tube floaters, but for other non-powered watercraft like row boats and kayaks, this stamp replaces the need to apply for titles and registration in the state. The fee and sticker also are mandatory for out-of-state floating watercraft.
Not having a stamp could result in a $120 fine.
Chicago, meet Detroit. Detroit, Chicago.