Welcome to I Fish Illinois!

2016 Fishing Licenses Available!

Illinois fishing, hunting and sportsman's combination licenses and usage stamps for 2016 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 2016 licenses and usage stamps purchased beginning January 18 will be valid through March 31, 2017 unless otherwise noted. Be sure to pick up your 2016 license today!

Channel Catfish in the Illinois River

We love a success story! Please take a moment to watch this video highlighting the two-year partnership between the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Friends of the Chicago River to create channel catfish habitat in the Chicago River system. This partnership was developed to help channel catfish repopulate the river after years of degradation limited their breeding success. The channel catfish project included the installation of 400 habitat nesting cavities in hopes of natural reproduction and the release of 195,000 juvenile channel cats that will grow up to use the nests. This kind of work takes years of perseverance, partnerships and collaboration.

Boating Safety Classes

Throughout the year, many people operate motor-driven watercraft on the Illinois waters and many operate for the first time. We encourage individuals – both novice and experienced – to take the course.
Did you know:
– No person under 10 years of age can operate a motorboat
– Age 10 and up to 12 years can operate only under guardian control
– Persons at least 12 and less than 18 years may not operate a motorboat with over 10 horse power without a valid Boating Safety Certificate.
There are two ways to take the course:
Online (click here or here for more info) or
Instructor-Led (Listing of education courses by county).

Live in the Bloomington, Illinois area? There is a Boating Safety Education Class being offered on March 5. See the details here.

2016 Illinois Fishing Information

The new 2016 Illinois Fishing Information booklet is now available. The current regulations book is valid from April 1, 2016 — March 31, 2017.
You can download this guide here.

Wabash and Ohio Rivers Catfish Regulation Correction
Due to an error in printing of the 2016 Fishing Information Booklet, the Wabash and Ohio Rivers channel catfish, blue catfish and flathead catfish regulation is incomplete. There is a 13" minimum length limit for those species for both rivers. This is true for both hook-and-line fishing and commercial fishing. The remaining listed regulations are correct. For channel catfish there is unlimited harvest from 13" to 27.9". 1 fish per day is allowed for fish 28" or longer. For flathead and blue catfish there is unlimited harvest from 13" to 34.9". 1 fish is allowed per day 35" or longer.

2016 Illinois Fishing Tournament Applications Accepted by IDNR

Beginning November 1, 2015, fishing tournament organizers can apply to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) for tournament permits for 2016. Most fishing clubs and fishing tournament trail organizers can apply for tournament permits by utilizing their IDNR fishing tournament online accounts. Tournament Directors: If you do not have an existing account, create one now.

Note: Catch results from 2015 tournaments must be entered before fishing clubs and tournament trails will be allowed to request tournament dates for 2016.
Read the IDNR Press Release here.

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.