CARESIllinois Lake Michigan Charter Sportfishing CARES ACT II COVID Relief Funding Opportunity

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced today a COVID-19 relief funding opportunity through the CARES ACT II for Illinois-resident* Lake Michigan Charter Sportfishing Operators (see eligibility update below). The program seeks to fund relief for those operators who experienced a greater than 35 percent loss in charter sportfishing revenue during the period of March 20, 2020 through June 30, 2020, due to the pandemic as compared to average revenue during the same eligible period the previous five years (2015–2019) or for two of three years immediately prior (2017–2019). Other qualifications and restrictions may apply. The application period for the program closes October 31, 2021.

*Eligibility Update: Illinois DNR will now accept CARES ACT II applications from non-resident Illinois permitted Charter Sportfishing Operators that operate out of an Illinois Lake Michigan port with an Illinois registered business. Previous eligibility requirements apply, except that a non-resident driver's license, Illinois fishing license and Illinois Lake Michigan Charter Sport Fishing permit may be submitted by non-resident applicants. Non-residents that apply for Illinois CARES II relief funds cannot apply for CARES II aid from another state. If you believe you may qualify for this CARES ACT II funding opportunity, call the IDNR Lake Michigan Program office at 847-294-4143 for an application and additional information.

This funding opportunity is provided through a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, with participation by the IDNR.

(Note: Qualifying operators must be age 18 and older, have a 2021 Charter Sportfishing Permit and current Illinois fishing license)