Backyard Aquaponics

Sourcing fish in Chicago
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Author:  Jbuscher [ Apr 30th, '18, 03:56 ]
Post subject:  Sourcing fish in Chicago

Any recommendations on sourcing fish (tilapia or bluegills/sunfish) in the Chicago area?

Author:  scotty435 [ Apr 30th, '18, 14:46 ]
Post subject:  Re: Sourcing fish in Chicago

I'm not sure Tilapia are legal in Illinois so you should probably check with your state first. Bluegill will work and yellow perch might be an option as well - kind of depends on the tank volume and filtration.

I did find this but there may be an updated version -

I also found this (not sure how up to date it is either) -

In some states it may be legal to transport live fish to a home tank after catching them by fishing at a local pond.

Author:  Jbuscher [ May 1st, '18, 00:34 ]
Post subject:  Re: Sourcing fish in Chicago

Thank you for the links!

Is having a home system without access to waterways considered aquaculture for the purposes of illinois law? Or, more simply, at what point does having an aquaponics system in my garage change from having an overgrown fishtank to regulated aquaculture? If I sell the fish/produce?

I hadn't considered live catching wild fish... what are the pros and cons (or is that opening up a big can of worms - no pun intended)?


Author:  scotty435 [ May 1st, '18, 00:55 ]
Post subject:  Re: Sourcing fish in Chicago

Those are good questions but questions that I can't answer. The answers would need to come from your state government.

As far as catching fish locally for use in your home setup, looks like it's prohibited. Once upon a time it wasn't this way in parts of the Midwest but I think with quagga muscles, zebra muscles and other issues it makes sense that they've clamped down. The sport fishing regulations for Illinois, page 8 under "Stocking" and under "Transporting Water, Fish, or Other Aquatic Life" -

Author:  scott_dc [ May 4th, '18, 09:10 ]
Post subject:  Re: Sourcing fish in Chicago

As of a couple years ago, this place ships pond fish (I got bullhead). I think in Chicago, you'll need to pay extra for next day air.

If you want to make a road trip (10 hr from Chicago), I've had good luck with this place in WV (I got largemouth bass and yellow perch):

Best of luck.

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