Welcome to I Fish Illinois—Illinois DNR Division of Fisheries

2018 Illinois Fishing Tournament Applications Now Being Accepted

Applications are now being accepted for 2018 fishing tournaments. Use the IDNR Fishing Tournament Information System to access your account or to apply for an online account. Applications are reviewed on a "first come, first served" basis. Last year, we had nearly 3,000 applications for fishing tournaments in Illinois! So far for the 2018 season, we have received almost 1,000 applications, so be sure to make your tournament plans now.

Note: For returning groups, catch results from 2017 tournaments must be entered before fishing clubs and tournament trails will be allowed to request tournament dates for 2018.

Thank you to the Illinois Bass Federation for the use of this photo.

Fall Trout Season has Opened

October 7 — Catch-and-release fly fishing at select locations

October 21 — Illinois Fall Trout Season Opens

The 2017 Illinois fall trout fishing season opened on Saturday, October 21st at 54 ponds, lakes, and streams throughout the state. The Fall Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing-only Season opened October 7th at nine sites. The IDNR stocks more than 80,000 rainbow trout each year in bodies of water where trout fishing is permitted during the fall season. See stocked locations here.

Remember all anglers — including those using fly fishing gear who intend to release fish caught before October 21st — must have a valid fishing license and an Inland Trout Stamp unless exempt. These can be purchased here.

Muskie Creel Survey

Please help us gain important information about muskies caught in Illinois waters by reporting them to us via our Muskie Creel Survey Report Card.The information we gain from our anglers is invaluable. This survey is jointly sponsored by the Illini Muskies Alliance and the IDNR. Completing this form as soon as you can after your catch is much appreciated!

Pictured: Mike Sweeney with his 48" muskie caught at the Lake Shelbyville Spillway.

Operation Silver Bullet

Following the June 22nd capture of a lone silver carp in the Chicago Area Waterways by one of our contracted commercial fishers, the partners began a rapid response looking for additional Asian carp. Entitled Operation Silver Bullet, this response entailed intensive sampling in Lake Calumet, Calumet River and Little Calumet River the weeks of June 26th and July 3rd. No additional Asian carp were observed or collected. A copy of the news release can be found here. Note the operation summary and the effort that was put into this operation. Equally important, safety was of upmost importance during this exhaustive and professional operation.

UPDATE: The autopsy results from this silver carp reveal this 4-year-old fish spent only a few weeks in this stretch of the river. Read more here: http://www.asiancarp.us/news/Silverautopsy.htm

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!

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.