Illinois Spring Trout Fishing Season is Just Around the Corner

Trout Season Opens April 4

New Spring Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing-Only Season Opens March 21 at select sites**

The 2015 Illinois spring trout fishing season opens on Saturday, April 4th at 46 ponds, lakes, and streams throughout the state. In addition to the bodies of water that have been stocked in the past for spring trout fishing, three additional areas will be open to rainbow trout fishing for the spring of 2015, and three additional locations will be available for catch-and-release fly fishing prior to the opening of the spring trout season.

The new locations for spring trout fishing are Morgan Lake (Nichols Park) in Jacksonville, Kings Park Pond in Pittsfield, and Willow Lake at Peabody River King State Fish and Wildlife Area in St. Clair Co. The new catch-and-release fly fishing locations for this spring are Morgan Lake, Willow Lake, and Rock Creek in Kankakee River State Park.

The new Spring Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing-only season will be available at nine sites beginning on March 21st (see locations below marked with **). The IDNR first offered the catch-and-release fly fishing-only season at a number of trout locations last fall, and it was a great success among anglers. Fly fishing anglers can use fly fishing gear to catch and release trout beginning March 21st at the nine select sites designated in the list below. No trout may be kept during the fly fishing-only period, but anglers can keep trout after the opening of the regular season beginning April 4th.

The Illinois catchable trout program is funded entirely by those who use the program through the sale of Inland Trout Stamps. The IDNR stocks more than 80,000 rainbow trout each year in bodies of water where trout fishing is permitted during the spring season.

No trout may be taken from any of the stocked sites from March 15 until the spring trout season opens at 5 a.m. on April 4th. Anyone attempting to take (harvest) trout before the legal harvest season opening will be issued citations.

All anglers — including those using fly-fishing gear who intend to release fish caught before April 4th — must have a valid fishing license and an Inland Trout Stamp, unless they are under the age of 16, blind or disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from active duty in the Armed Forces. The daily catch limit for each angler is five trout.

Illinois fishing licenses and Inland Trout Stamps are available at DNR Direct license and permit locations, including many bait shops, sporting goods stores and other retail outlets. For a location near you, check the IDNR website at this link:

Fishing licenses and trout stamps can also be purchased by using a credit card through DNR Direct online via the IDNR website at, or by calling DNR Direct toll-free at 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648).

NOTE: Not all sites open at 5 a.m. on opening day. Anglers are reminded to check the opening time of their favorite trout fishing location prior to the season. For more information about all site regulations, anglers should contact individual sites that will be stocked with catchable-size trout.

The 46 locations that will be open for spring trout season are listed below:

2015 Illinois Spring Trout Locations

(** Denotes Sites Open for Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing-Only Early Season)