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Des Plaines River


©Illinois State Water Survey

Location: The Des Plaines River, the longest stream within the Chicago region, flows southward for 133 miles (105 miles in Illinois) through southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. It eventually meets the Kankakee River southwest of Joliet to form the Illinois River, a significant tributary of the Mississippi River.

Des Plaines River Fishery Facts

   (Click on image for expanded view.)

Description: At its widest point, the Des Plaines River is approximately 180 feet wide. The narrower sections are closer to 30 feet wide. The average width of the river is between 40 and 100 feet. Depth varies from location to location, but the average depth of the Des Plaines River is 3 feet during normal water levels.

The Des Plaines River is easily fished from shore, canoe/kayak or by wading. Much of the bottom is a combination of rock and silt, so care should be taken when wading.


Lake Status Summary

Species

Rank

Fish Status

BLUEGILL

Good

CARP

Good

CRAPPIE

Good

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Good

Largemouth bass are taken most frequently in the main channel border and lake habitats.

NORTHERN PIKE

Excellent

Northern Pike are the primary sport fish in the upper Des Plaines River, commonly caught on spinnerbaits. Concentrate on fallen timber, eddies, current breaks and drop-offs.

ROCK BASS

Good

SMALLMOUTH BASS

Fair

Smallies are present, but not common

WALLEYE

Fair

Walleye are present, but not common and are more prominent in the lower Des Plaines River.


Note: The upper Des Plaines River runs primarily through forest preserve property of Cook County, IL and Lake County, IL. Much of the shoreline is on property owned by the Cook County Forest Preserve District and the Lake County Forest Preserve District. Some portions do run through land that is not publicly owned so please be aware of signs indicating private property. There are many access points on the river, as well as Kayak/Canoe launch points:

   Click on image for expanded view.

River Access Areas

Canoe/Kayak launch areas

Des Plaines Fish and Wildlife Area Information

There were 54 tournaments held on this waterbody in 2017.

Species Total Fish Caught
Common Carp 893
Largemouth Bass 964
Longnose Gar 20
River Carpsucker 2
Smallmouth Bass 74

Top 5 Largemouth Bass caught on this
waterbody in 2017 tournaments:

1     5.34 lbs
2     4.94 lbs
3     4.82 lbs
4     4.41 lbs
5     4.02 lbs

2018 Approved or Pending Tournaments
Start Date End Date
(if different from start)
ID Ramp Location Bank/Boat
Hook/Bow
Max Boats Species Open to Public?
February-039295Big Basin bank
hook
0Common Carp
Yes
March-038725Big Basin boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
March-178726Big Basin boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
March-257544Big Basin boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
March-318727Big Basin boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
April-087935Big Basin boat
hook
40Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
April-148245Big Basin boat
hook
55Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
April-158170Big Basin boat
hook
50Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
April-217909Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Yes
April-288107Big Basin boat
hook
55Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
May-027547Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
May-058231Big Basin boat
hook
55Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
May-127910Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Yes
May-138171Big Basin boat
hook
50Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
May-167548Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
May-208418Big Basin boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
May-307549Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
June-038172Big Basin boat
hook
50Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
June-137550Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
June-167911Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
June-178173Big Basin boat
hook
50Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
June-248174Big Basin boat
hook
50Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
June-277551Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
July-018175Big Basin boat
hook
50Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
July-088176Big Basin boat
hook
50Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
July-117552Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
July-158177Big Basin boat
hook
50Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
July-217949Big Basin boat
hook
40Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
July-227950Big Basin boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
July-257553Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
July-287912Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
July-298178Big Basin boat
hook
50Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
August-049283Big Basin boat
hook
9Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
August-057546Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
August-087554Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
August-128179Big Basin boat
hook
50Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
August-188802Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
August-198180Big Basin boat
hook
50Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
August-227555Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
August-257951Big Basin boat
hook
40Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
September-028182Big Basin boat
hook
50Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
September-088123Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
60Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Spotted Bass
Yes
September-097999Harborside Marina boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
September-15September-168624Big Basin boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Spotted Bass
No
September-238184Big Basin boat
hook
50Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
October-069320Big Basin boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
October-079321Big Basin boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
October-137914Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
November-047545Big Basin boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
November-119186Big Basin boat
hook
6Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No