Open water fishing on Lake Michigan is underway. Early spring is a good time to catch coho salmon and brown trout from the lakeshore or a boat. There have also been a few reports of Chinook salmon being caught, like the nice one pictured here that was caught by Alex B. and his father Kevin during a recent trip out of Chicago. Anglers 16 years and older need an Illinois fishing license and salmon stamp when fishing for salmon and trout in Lake Michigan. To obtain an Illinois fishing license click here. For more information on Lake Michigan fishing, click here.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has received many questions regarding fishing tournaments in Illinois. To clarify the process, we have answered these questions here. Thank you for your patience as we have worked through the process. We look forward to receiving catch data — this information helps the IDNR's Fisheries Division effectively manage our valuable fisheries resources.
Fishing Tournament FAQs
Spring Trout Season Opener Announced
March 21 — Catch-and-release fly fishing opens at select locations
April 4 — Illinois Spring Trout Season Opens
The 2015 Illinois spring trout fishing season opens on Saturday, April 4th at 46 ponds, lakes, and streams throughout the state. In addition to the bodies of water that have been stocked in the past for spring trout fishing, three additional areas will be open to rainbow trout fishing for the spring of 2015, and three additional locations will be available for catch-and-release fly fishing prior to the opening of the spring trout season. The IDNR stocks more than 80,000 rainbow trout each year in bodies of water where trout fishing is permitted during the spring season. See locations here.
Illinois fishing, hunting and sportsman's combination licenses and usage stamps for 2015 are now available from DNR Direct license and permit vendors, online through the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov, or by calling 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648). The automated license system is available 24 hours a day. The 2015 licenses and usage stamps purchased beginning Jan. 19 will be valid through Mar. 31, 2016 unless otherwise noted. Be sure to pick up your 2015 license today!
Follow IFishIllinois on Social Media
IFishIllinois strives to be your one-stop, go-to site for fishing in Illinois waters. We work hard to keep anglers up to date on fishing events, IDNR angling-related news releases, fishing reports, angling tips and equipment, tips for fish stocking, and much more.
Social media is an excellent way to promote what's happening in angling news throughout Illinois. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date ... because you fish Illinois.
Stop the Spread of Invasive Species
Remove, Drain, Dry: As the boats come out of storage, we'd like to remind you to be aware of invasive species that pose a threat to our lands and waterways. To fight the spread of aquatic invaders, the IDNR is asking residents to "be a hero transport zero." The best way to stop the spread of invasive species is to remove, drain, and dry your boats after use in any Illinois waterway. Learn more here.