Below is the official word on why the IDNR will not have bowfishing for bass. What's left unanswered, at least to my satisfaction, is why that distinction and protection is not made for other native species when requested.
IDNR communications manager Stacey Solano sent this:
The IDNR believes that bowfishing for sportfish should not be allowed. We encourage catch and release in most instances to protect the resource. This management technique, although appropriate in some instances, could not be sustained with other demands on the fishery.
No, that sounds like a finely crafted PR response, but in a follow-up IDNR director Marc Miller sent this:
Dale, I can assure that virtually no response goes out without a director's approval. There may be some that are handled by Solano and [Chris] McCloud, but in this case I am the one who wrote the response as we circulated your question.
That's a hands-on approach from a natural resources professional.
Let's us know if you need anything else.
That's the word from the top, and I am glad we live in a time when word comes from a pro at the top of the IDNR.
Yet, I very adamantly contend that a natural resources professional should also realize that the native vs non-native species distinction would be the most science-based broad means of dividing species for such pursuits as bowfishing, gigging, snagging, etc.