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.
Walleye on the Kankakee River
IDNR Fisheries Biologists Steve Pescitelli and Rob Miller completed walleye collection/sampling on the Kankakee River for 2016, and the results were amazing, indicating that the Kankakee River Walleye Stocking Program continues to be a success! Catch rates were well above the 30 fish per hour average, with the first day at Wilmington yielding over 100 walleye per hour. On days two and three, over 60 fish per hour were collected at both Wilmington and Kankakee. Two of the walleye were in the 10 pound range, like the one pictured. Overall, 37 males and 39 females from the electrofishing samples were sent to LaSalle Hatchery where they fertilized 4.2 million eggs. Thanks to Northern Illinois Angler Association for paying to have the jet outboard engine repaired this winter. This motor was originally donated by NIAA.
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!
Lake Michigan Fisheries Update Newsletter
The 2016 fishing season is rapidly approaching. Biologists from IDNR's Lake Michigan Program have prepared a newsletter highlighting results from 2015 stocking, field sampling activities and angler harvest surveys. Included is information on yellow perch, salmon and trout, bass, prey fish populations and more. Download the newsletter here.
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).
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.