Welcome to I Fish Illinois!

Lake Michigan Program Public Meeting Scheduled

The IDNR's Lake Michigan Program will host a public meeting on Thursday, June 23rd. The meeting will be held at the Des Plaines office beginning at 7:00 pm. Agenda items include recent changes in the lake ecosystem, 2015 Chinook salmon and prey fish population abundances, a coded-wire tag study update, an Illinois salmon and trout harvest update, tools used to inform trout and salmon management decisions and a proposed lake-wide Chinook salmon stocking reduction for 2017. Time will be reserved for questions and open discussion.

A map to this meeting location can be found here.

2016 Top 100 Family Friendly Places to Boat and Fish

Four Illinois spots have been been recognized among the 2016 Top 100 Family Friendly Places to Boat and Fish in the U.S. according to Take Me Fishing. This campaign initiated the nationwide vote to provide families and outdoor enthusiasts with a recommended list of the best family-friendly places to experience the joys of boating and fishing as the weather warms up around the country. Criteria for the top places to fish and boat included having a public body of water within driving distances of a major city with good fishing opportunities and family-friendly amenities. Those areas that received this honor were: Chain O'Lakes State Park, Starved Rock State Park / Illinois River, Carlyle Lake, North Point Marina / Lake Michigan .

Northern Pike Stocking in Chicago Area Waterways

IDNR stocked 2000, 5-inch Northern Pike in the North Shore Channel today. The Pike stocking is part of a plant re-introduction project in Chicago Area Waterways (CAWS). Although water quality has improved in CAWS, habitat remains a limiting factor in many areas of the system. Friends of the Chicago River, in partnership with the IDNR, received a grant from the Chi Cal River Fund to install native emergent vegetation (2,500 water willow and 2,000 lizard's tail) in the North Shore Channel and the North Branch of the Chicago River as habitat for fish and other aquatic species, which creates stands of high-quality habitat for aquatic organisms, protects the shoreline from bank erosion, creates shelter for aquatic life during floods, and improves the aesthetics of the channel for recreational users. Northern Pike, a fish species associated with aquatic vegetation, will take advantage of the new habitat and provide opportunities for urban anglers. Thanks to our fine hatchery staff for providing these beautiful, healthy fish.

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.