Welcome to I Fish Illinois—Illinois DNR Division of Fisheries

Record-Breaking Burbot Hooked!

Congratulations to Luc van Brenk for hooking a new Illinois record-breaking Burbot November 18, 2020, from Diversey Harbor in Lake Michigan. The record fish weighed 9 pounds 10.9 ounces and was 32-1/2 inches long. Luc's catch topped the previous Illinois record Burbot caught in 2018 from Lake Michigan by 5.3 oz. He used a perch rig with a wax worm to reel in this record-breaker.

See all the hook-and-line record breakers here.

2021 Illinois Fishing Tournament Applications Accepted Now

Beginning November 1, 2020, fishing tournament organizers can apply to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) for 2021 fishing tournament permits. 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 almost 3000 applications for fishing tournaments in Illinois!

Note: For returning groups, catch results from 2020 tournaments must be entered before fishing clubs and tournament trails will be allowed to request tournament dates for 2021.

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!

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!

Frequently Asked Questions

We are here to answer any fishing-related questions you may have. Simply send us an email through our "contact us" and we are happy to provide you with the information you're seeking. We also have a Frequently Asked Question page that you may find helpful. We've compiled a list of some of our most frequently asked questions via email and provided that information for you here. Check it out — you may learn something new about fishing in 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.