Welcome to I Fish Illinois—Illinois DNR Division of Fisheries

Fishing in Illinois is HOT!

We have just had ANOTHER state-record breaking catch, making seven recorder breakers in 2017! The newest state record is a 21 pounds 7.2 ounces hybrid striped bass, caught in Lake Bloomington. This fish surpassed the previous record holder by over a pound! Other state-record fish included: Lake Whitefish (7 pounds 8 ounces); Burbot (9 pounds 4.8 ounces); Hybrid Crappie (4 pounds 8.8 ounces), and Brown Bullhead (3 pounds 4.8 ounces). Congratualtions to Ken Maggiore (who caught the Burbot and Lake Whitefish during the same fishing trip to Lake Michigan),Ryan Povolish (hybrid crappie), Dan Norris (Brown Bullhead) and Robert Vericella (hybrid striped bass). See the state records here.

If you haven't gotten your fishing license for the year, be sure to go pick one up and get fishing — there are records to be broken!

Illinois Muskie Stocking History

Over the past 31 years, the Illinois muskie fishery has evolved into a great fishery in the Midwest. Since 1993, the IDNR has stocked 4,591,271 muskie into waters deemed likely to be suited for a quality fishery. The main goal of muskie management in Illinois is to establish populations, sustained by supplemental hatchery stockings and creative regulation in an effort to maintain populations, which produce a few large fish for trophy angling. Read more about the history of the muskie stocking program in Illinois here.

As a reminder, the INDR asks that anglers who have caught a muskie fill out our online muskie creel survey. The purpose of the survey is to gain valuable information regarding muskies caught that only you the angler can provide. Find the survey here.

Lake Michigan Newsletter

The Division of Fisheries/Lake Michigan Program has released their newsletter highlighting Lake Michigan fishing information and field sampling activities from 2016. The newsletter covers salmon and trout stocking, forage abundance, sport fish harvest in Illinois waters, Yellow Perch abundance and recruitment, the ongoing coded-wire tag study and Lake Trout populations and management.

Read this newsletter here.

Boating Safety Classes

Throughout the year, many people operate motor-driven watercraft on the Illinois waters and many operate for the first time. We encourage individuals – both novice and experienced – to take the course.

Did you know:
– No person under 10 years of age can operate a motorboat
– Age 10 and up to 12 years can operate only under guardian control
– Persons at least 12 and less than 18 years may not operate a motorboat with over 10 horse power without a valid Boating Safety Certificate.

There are two ways to take the course:
Online (click here or here for more info) or
Instructor-Led (Listing of education courses by county).

Follow IFishIllinois on Social Media

IFishIllinois strives to be your one-stop, go-to site for fishing in Illinois waters. We work hard to keep anglers up to date on fishing events, IDNR angling-related news releases, fishing reports, angling tips and equipment, tips for fish stocking, and much more.

Social media is an excellent way to promote what's happening in angling news throughout Illinois. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date ... because you fish Illinois.

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.