Anglers in Illinois need to look no further than their immediate surrounding to enjoy quality fishing. Some of the best fishing opportunities in the nation can be found in our state's million and a half acres of water. Illinois waters vary from the deep blue waters of Lake Michigan, to our many great rivers, to crystal-clear smaller lakes and ponds.
Whatever kind of fishing you're interested in doing . . . I Fish Illinois has it!
News & Events
May 31-June 1 – IHSA Bass Fishing State Finals
June 8 – Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair
June 8 – Weldon Springs Kids Fishing Derby
June 7-10 – Free Fishing Days
Jake Wolf Hatchery
When we say a lake is "annually stocked," what does that really mean? Well, take a look at Jake Wolf Memorial Fish Hatchery. In its 30 years in operation, they have stocked 500,000,000 fish in Illinois waters...and counting! We were fortunate to have a write-up about the Jake Wolf in the State Journal Register. Read the article here.
We also have some great videos that describe the intricate workings of the hatchery, which operates 365 days of the year to provide the needed species and sizes for our waters to maintain recreational fishing in Illinois. See the videos here.
Jake Wolf is one of three hatcheries operated by the IDNR. Learn more about the hatcheries here.
Illinois Asian Carp Barrier Defense Program
The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC), a partnership of the Illinois DNR and other federal, state, local agencies, and private stakeholder entities, are working to create a sustainable Asian carp control program. The goal is to protect and maintain the integrity and safety of the Great Lakes ecosystem from an Asian carp invasion via all viable pathways. This month, the ACRCC released its 2013 Asian Carp Monitoring and Response Plan (MRP). Outlining a revised and aggressive set of actions to track and remove Asian carp in the Upper Illinois River and the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS), the 2013 MRP is again designed to prevent Asian carp from establishing populations in the CAWS and Lake Michigan. Read all about the Illinois Asian Carp Barrier Defense Program here.
Every time you purchase firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, fishing gear and motorboat fuels, along with your purchase of hunting and fishing licenses, you are part of a cycle of conservation success thanks to the Sport Fish Restoration Act. Look here for more information about how Illinois uses these very important Federal funds.
Places to Fish
- Corps Reservoirs
- Lake Michigan
- Rivers & Creeks
- Catchable Trout
- Fishing Tips and Identification
- Weekly Fishing Reports
- Fish Species Status Reports
- Water Levels
- Fishing Awards (Hook/Line, Spear/Bow)
- Spear/Bow Fishing
- Urban Fishing
- Tackle Loaner
- Angler Records
- Hatcheries & Stocking
- Private Lake & Aquatic Plant Management
- Disabled Outdoor Opportunities
Fishing Tackle Box
- Private Fish Dealers
- All Fishing Questions Answered
- IDPH Fish Consumption Advisory
- Tournament Application
- Get a Fishing License
- How to Tie Knots
- Spanish Version of Fishing Regulations-2013
- Fishing Regulations-2013
Check out the NEW WEEKLY FISHING REPORTS
The IDNR fish survey at Ferne Clyffe Lake on May 13th produced two lunker bass. Pictured here is likely a female bass with a swollen belly filled with eggs. She's a 10 pounder, while the other was 8.75 pounds. Both fish caught were in fish attractor locations that IDNR "enhances" each spring.
Bass of this size are not often found in Illinois waters, according to DNR's Assistant Fisheries Chief Dan Stephenson, who proclaimed he's never seen a bass this large in his 33-year career.
Illinois Sport Fishing Awards
Kids & Family Fishing
- Family Fishing Hotspots
- Illinois High School Assoc. Bass Fishing
- Teachers Resources
- Kids Fishing
- Aquatic Illinois
- Illinois Entice
- Muskie Survey
- Asian Carp Management
- Asian Carp FAQs
- Illinois Sport Fish Fact Sheets
- Fisherman Catch Reports
- Creel Survey Data & Reports
- Fish Studies in Progress
- Endangered Species
- Aquatic Nuisance Species
- DNR Fisheries Data
- Illinois Rivers Research
- Fisheries Strategic Plan