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: http://dnr.illinois.gov/DNRDirectMonitor/VendorListing.aspx
Fishing licenses and trout stamps can also be purchased by using a credit card through DNR Direct online via the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov, 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)
- Boone County: Mill Race Ponds, Belvidere
- Bureau County: Hennepin Canal Parkway
- Cook County: Axehead Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District (stocked by CCFPD)
- Cook County: Belleau Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District(stocked by CCFPD)
- Cook County: Green Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District, Calumet City
- Cook County: Wolf Lake, William W. Powers State Recreation Area, Chicago
- DuPage County: Silver Lake, DuPage County Forest Preserve District
- Jo Daviess County: Apple River , Apple River State Park **
- Kankakee County: Bird Park Quarry in Kankakee
- Kankakee County: Rock Creek at Kankakee River State Park **
- Kendall County: Big Lake at Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area
- Lake County: Banana Lake, Lake County Forest Preserve District (stocked by LCFPD)
- Lake County: Sand Lake at Illinois Beach State Park
- LaSalle County: Illinois and Michigan Canal at Utica North
- LaSalle County: Lake Mendota, City of Mendota
- McHenry County: Lake Atwood, McHenry County Conservation District
- McHenry County: Piscasaw Creek, McHenry County Conservation District
- Ogle County: Pine Creek in White Pines Forest State Park **
- Stephenson County: Waddams Creek, Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Park
- Stephenson County: Yellow Creek in Krape Park, Freeport
- Whiteside County: Centennial Park Pond in Rock Falls
- Will County: Lake Milliken at Des Plaines Conservation Area
- Winnebago County: Four Lakes, Winnebago County Forest Preserve District
- Adams County: Siloam Springs State Park Lake **
- Cass County: Gridley Lake at Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA **
- Champaign County: Lake of the Woods, CCFPD, Mahomet
- Christian County: Manners Park Pond, Taylorville Park District
- Coles County: Eastern Illinois University Campus Pond in Charleston
- Hancock County: Horton Lake, Nauvoo State Park **
- Macon County: Sportsman's Club Pond, Macon County Conservation District
- McLean County: Miller Park Lake, Bloomington Park District
- Morgan County: Morgan Lake at Nichols Park, Jacksonville **
- Moultrie County: Wyman Lake in Sullivan
- Pike County: Kings Park Pond, Pittsfield
- Sangamon County: IDOT Lake, Springfield **
- Sangamon County: Southwind Park Pond in Springfield
- Sangamon County: Washington Park Pond in Springfield
- Shelby County: Forest Park Lagoon in Shelbyville
- Vermilion County: Clear Lake at Kickapoo State Recreation Area
- Jefferson County: Mount Vernon Game Farm Pond
- Johnson County: Ferne Clyffe State Park Lake
- Marion County: Boston Pond at Stephen A. Forbes State Park
- Massac County: Fairgrounds Pond in Fort Massac State Park, Metropolis
- Randolph County: Derby Lake at World Shooting and Recreational Complex, Sparta
- St. Clair County: Frank Holten State Recreation Area main lake
- St. Clair County: Jones Park Lake in East St. Louis
- St. Clair County: Willow Lake at Peabody River King State Fish and Wildlife Area **
- Wabash County: Beall Woods Lake, Beall Woods State Park
- Wayne County: Sam Dale State Fish and Wildlife Area Trout Pond