Welcome to I Fish Illinois—Illinois DNR Division of Fisheries

Fall Trout Season Opener Announced!

The 2021 Illinois Fall Trout Fishing Season will open Saturday, October 16 at 59 ponds, lakes and streams throughout the state. An early opportunity at select trout sites — the Fall Catch-and-Release Fishing Season — will open October 2.

A couple reminders:

  • An Illinois fishing license and Inland Trout Stamp are required.
  • Not all sites open at 5:00 a.m. on opening day; be sure to check the opening time of your favorite site.
  • Participants are reminded to follow current guidance from the CDC and IDPH regarding face masks and social distancing.
  • All participants must have fun! Learn more here.

Illinois Lake Michigan Charter Sportfishing CARES ACT II COVID Relief Funding Opportunity

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources today announced a COVID-19 relief funding opportunity through the CARES ACT II for Illinois-resident Lake Michigan Charter Sportfishing Operators. The program seeks to fund relief for those operators who experienced a greater than 35 percent loss in charter sportfishing revenue during March 20, 2020 through June 30, 2020, due to the pandemic as compared to average revenue during the same eligible period the previous five years (2015-2019) or for two of three years immediately prior (2017-2019). Other qualifications and restrictions may apply. Learn more here.

Know Your State Record!

The past couple years have seen some state fishing records shattered with as many as 7 record-breakers in a single year! Don't learn the hard way that your catch would have qualified for a state record! We have a listing of state record fish by species and directions for what to do if you think you've caught a state record fish, either by bow or hook and line.

We can only name a state record fish once it has been verified by an IDNR County Fisheries Biologist, not by pictures alone. So be sure to contact your biologist if you think you've caught a record holder...before you release it!

2021 Illinois Fishing Regulations

The 2021 Illinois Fishing Regulations Information Guide is now available. This guide went into effect April 1, 2021. The guide is available in both English and Spanish.

You can download a copy of the guide here:

Printed copies should now be available at your favorite outlet soon.

Asian Carp: The Perfect Catch

In its continuing efforts to further reduce the spread of Asian Carp in our waterways, IDNR has embarked on an exciting new initiative to improve the perception — and ultimately increase human consumption — of these healthy, delicious fish.

Click to learn about Asian Carp's benefits and sales information, or see a recent presentation on this initiative. Eat well, do good!

The Illinois Hatchery System

Illinois is home to three very productive fish hatcheries — Jake Wolf Memorial, LaSalle and Little Grassy Fish Hatcheries. The Illinois Hatchery System is dedicated to enhancing fish populations in Illinois waters by producing adequate numbers of various species of fish to meet stocking demands statewide. In fact, at full capacity the system can produce over 50 million fish of 20 species! State hatcheries also work with other US hatcheries to obtain fish eggs and fry to supplement on-site production for certain species.

To learn more about our hatchery system, as well as the hours they are open for visits from the public, see our page here.

Interested in where we stock fish? See our stocking page here!

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.