Illinois repeals water usage stamp

With warm weather here to stay more people are hitting the water.  But this summer, the state says you don’t need a water usage stamp, known to many as a paddler’s pass.

In 2013, Illinois issued a new rule for paddlers that required every kayak, canoe, paddle board and inter-tube have a water usage stamp. 

"So, there was a little bit of confusion of how to use the water usage stamp," Rocktown Adventures general manager Kevin Versino.

That also meant a lot of complaints.

"People weren’t sure how long they had to buy it," added Versino. "Do I have to display it? Do I have to keep it into the wallet?"

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says a big reason it decided to repeal the stamp this spring is because the push-back over the past five years.

For our business, it means getting people out on the water will be easier

Kevin Versino owns Rockton Adventures and says no more water usage stamps means a few extra bucks in his pocket. 

"It’s 100 less stamps that I have to buy for my rental fleet, which saves me a few dollars," Versino said.

Other paddlers are also praising the move saying the stamps were hard to use from the beginning.

"[It] really didn’t work very well for the state because it would fall off, and when it fell off, you would have to buy another one, it was kind of an odd thing that way," Stateline Paddler Club President Jeff Reuter said.

However, the stamps might not be gone for good. 
According to a spokesperson from the IDNR, the state could revisit the water usage stamp. 

But with no requirements right now in Illinois, it’s open water for these paddling enthusiasts.

"You can just get on the water immediately," Reuter said.

The IDNR still encourages paddlers to register their watercraft with the state for insurance purposes. That costs $18 for a 3-year registration.

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