Illinois spring trout fishing season opens April 1
An early opportunity at selected trout sites – the spring catch-and-release fishing season – will open March 18. No trout may be kept during the catch-and-release fishing period, but anglers can keep trout after the opening of the regular season beginning April 1.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) stocks more than 80,000 rainbow trout each year in bodies of water where trout fishing is permitted during the spring season. An additional 80,000 trout will be stocked for the fall trout fishing season, which begins in October.
The Illinois Catchable Trout Program receives funding support from those who use the program through the sale of Inland Trout Stamps.
For the 2023 spring trout season, no trout may be taken from any of the stocked sites from March 13 until the season opens at 5 a.m. April 1. Anyone attempting to harvest trout before the legal harvest season opening will be issued citations.
All anglers, including those who intend to release fish caught before April 1, must have a fishing license and an Inland Trout Stamp unless they are under the age of 16, blind or disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from active duty in the Armed Forces. The daily harvest limit for each angler is five trout.
For more information on trout seasons and other Illinois fishing opportunities, check the website at www.ifishillinois.org.
Illinois 2023 fishing licenses and Inland Trout Stamps are available now at IDNR license and permit locations, including many bait shops, sporting goods stores, and other retail outlets. For a list of locations, visit https://www.exploremoreil.com/agentlocator.
Fishing licenses and trout stamps also can be purchased online at https://www.exploremoreil.com.
For information about all site regulations, anglers should contact individual sites that will be stocked with catchable-size trout. Not all sites open at 5 a.m. on opening day. Anglers are reminded to check the opening time of their favorite sites prior to the open date.
The 58 locations that will be open for the 2023 spring trout season are:
(**Denotes sites open for catch-and-release early spring season fishing)
Mill Race Ponds, Belvidere
Hennepin Canal Parkway
Axehead Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District
Belleau Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District
Green Lake in Calumet City, Cook County Forest Preserve District
Horsetail Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District
Sag Quarry East, Cook County Forest Preserve District
Wolf Lake at William W. Powers State Recreation Area, Chicago
Grove Lake, DuPage County Forest Preserve District
Pickerel Lake, DuPage County Forest Preserve District
Silver Lake, DuPage County Forest Preserve District
Jo Daviess County
Apple River, Apple River Canyon State Park**
Bird Park Quarry, Kankakee
Rock Creek, Kankakee River State Park**
Big Lake, Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area
Sand Lake, Illinois Beach State Park
Illinois and Michigan Canal Lock 14, LaSalle
Lake Mendota, Village of Mendota
Lake Atwood, McHenry County Conservation District
Piscasaw Creek, McHenry County Conservation District
Pine Creek, White Pines Forest State Park**
Rock Island County
Prospect Park, Moline
Waddams Creek, Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Park
Yellow Creek in Krape Park, Freeport
Centennial Park Pond, Rock Falls
Lake Milliken, Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area
Baumann Lake, Cherry Valley
Four Lakes, Winnebago County Forest Preserve District
Siloam Springs State Park Lake**
Gridley Lake, Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area**
Kaufman Lake, Champaign Park District
Lake of the Woods, Champaign County Forest Preserve District
Manners Park, Taylorville Park District
Casey Park Pond, Casey
Eastern Illinois University Campus Pond, Charleston
Weldon Springs, Weldon Springs State Park
Horton Lake, Nauvoo State Park**
Sportsman’s Club Pond, Macon County Conservation District
Miller Park Lake, Bloomington
Morgan Lake at Nichols Park, Jacksonville**
Wyman Lake, Sullivan
King Park Pond
Illinois Department of Transportation Lake, Springfield**
Southwind Park, Springfield
Washington Park Pond, Springfield
Forest Park Lagoon, Shelbyville
Clear Lake, Kickapoo State Recreation Area
Mount Vernon Game Farm Pond
Ferne Clyffe State Park Lake
Belk Park Pond, Wood River
Boston Pond, Stephen A. Forbes State Recreation Area
Fairgrounds Pond, Fort Massac State Park
Derby Lake, World Shooting and Recreational Complex, Sparta
St. Clair County
Frank Holten State Park Main Lake
Jones Park Lake, East St. Louis
Willow Lake at Peabody River King State Fish and Wildlife Area**
Beall Woods Lake, Beall Woods State Park
Sam Dale Conservation Area Trout Pond
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