Spring 2017 Trout Season Opener
March 18 — Catch-and-release fly fishing opens at select locations
April 1 — Illinois Spring Trout Season Opens
The 2017 Illinois spring trout fishing season opens on Saturday, April 1st at 52 ponds, lakes, and streams throughout the state. The Spring Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing-Only season will be available at nine sites beginning on March 18. The IDNR stocks more than 80,000 rainbow trout each year in bodies of water where trout fishing is permitted during the spring season. The Illinois catchable trout program is funded entirely by those who use the program through the sale of Inland Trout Stamps.
See a listing of stocked locations here.
2017 Illinois Fishing Information Guide
The 2017 Illinois Fishing Information Guide is now available and is packed with useful information about places to fish in Illinois. Effective beginning April 1st, you'll find an updated summary of statewide fishing regulation in Illinois, as well as details on site-specific regulations that are organized by the body of water or water area at which those regulations apply.
Featured on the cover is Wayne Herndon, who retired from the IDNR after 45 years of service as a Fisheries Biologist. See the 2017 guide here.
Get Your 2017 Fishing License Today!
Illinois fishing, hunting and sportsman's combination licenses for 2017 are now available. You can order your license online here, or through DNR Direct license and permit vendors or by calling 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648). The automated license system is available 24 hours a day.
The 2017 fishing licenses purchased beginning January 16th are valid through March 31, 2018.
Ice Fishing in Illinois
While the snow flies in Illinois, this region of the nation offers anglers an opportunity to fish almost any spot of a lake or river without a boat. Ice fishing does, however, require different tools and techniques than freshwater fishing. The IDNR is reminding anglers that heading to their favorite frozen fishing holes also comes with risks this time of year.
"The IDNR cannot stress enough the importance of safety when ice fishing. Ice fishing can be a great and fun time, but can change into a dangerous situation in just seconds. Being prepared and ready for anything can save your life," said IDNR Conservation Police Chief Rafael Gutierrez. Whether you're a season veteran to ice fishing, or just getting started, there's no better time than the present to get out there and enjoy some fishing! Read our ice fishing tips here.
2017 Asian Carp Action Plan
The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC) released its Fiscal Year 2017 Action Plan. This Plan details 60 high-priority strategic measures designed to manage the threat of four species of invasive Asian carp in the Great Lakes. The Plan serves as a foundation for the work of the ACRCC partnership — a collaboration of 27 U.S. and Canadian federal, state, provincial, and local agencies and organizations.
"Each member of the ACRCC plays an important role in keeping Asian carp from becoming established in the Great Lakes, and the IDNR was proud to lead efforts to remove over one million pounds of Asian carp from the upper Illinois River in 2016," said IDNR Asian carp biologist Kevin Irons. "Working together, we are keeping them away from the electric barrier system and out of Lake Michigan."
Read the Asian Carp Action Plan
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.