Fishing Tournaments

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources anticipates new fishing tournament permit application rules went into effect in April 2015.  The application process is not yet online, so tournament anglers have continued to send in paper applications.

To date, the Fisheries Division has processed nearly 1,200 tournament requests. As part of the new permit procedures, an online account will be created for each club or tournament trail that has submitted paper applications. Notification of that account will be sent to each tournament director via e-mail (Tournament Directors who received an online tournament notification, click here.). Each tournament director will enter catch information after each tournament. This information will be used by the biologists to make management decisions.

For those waters that are state-owned or have state-owned ramps, the online permit will act as both the Fishing Tournament Permit and the site’s Activity Permit. 

For state-owned ramps, the club or tournament must show a $1 million dollar proof of insurance or a waiver of liability must be signed prior to launch by each tournament participant.  Those waiver forms can be obtained at the site office and must be signed and returned to the site superintendent on or before the day of the event. Please contact the site to make arrangements.  

For those tournaments launching from ramps not owned by the state, permission to use those ramps will require contacting the owner and securing a date, as has been done in the past. 

Please see the Fishing Tournament FAQ for our responses to questions that have been asked by tournament anglers. We thank the tournament angling community for their patience as we’ve worked through this process and look forward to receiving their catch data. 
The new proposed rules can be found here under the “Second Notice” tab.

Applications for Fishing Tournament Permits must be received no less than 30 days prior to the tournament date or the permit may be denied. Return completed applications to:

Division of Fisheries
Fishing Tournament Permit
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702-1271