Illinois Fall Trout Season Opens October 20

The Fall Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing Season Opens October 6 at nine sites

The 2018 Illinois Fall Trout Fishing Season will open on Saturday, October 20th at 58 ponds, lakes, and streams throughout the state.

Two weeks prior to the fall trout opener, the Fall Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing Season will open at nine sites on Saturday, October 6th at select locations marked with an asterisk (*) in the list below. Fly fishing anglers can use fly fishing gear to catch and release trout beginning October 6 at those nine sites. No trout may be kept during the fly fishing-only period, but anglers can keep trout after the opening of the regular fall trout season beginning October 20th

The Illinois catchable trout program is funded by those who use the program through the sale of Inland Trout Stamps and through the Illinois Fish Management Fund.

The IDNR has added four new sites for Fall Trout Fishing in 2018, raising the stocking of rainbow trout to 67,000 fish in the Fall season, and approximately that same number for the Spring season.  The new 2018 Fall Trout Fishing sites are Bauman Lake in Cherry Valley, Casey Park Pond in Casey, Weldon Springs State Park Lake near Clinton, and Belk Park Pond in Edwardsville.

No trout may be taken from any of the stocked sites from October 1st until the fall trout season opens at 5 a.m. on October 20, 2018. Anyone attempting to take (harvest) trout before the legal harvest season opening will be issued citations.

All anglers — including those using fly fishing gear who intend to release fish caught before October 20 — must have a valid fishing license and an Inland Trout Stamp, unless they are under the age of 16, blind or disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from active duty in the Armed Forces. The daily catch limit for each angler is five trout.

Illinois fishing licenses and Inland Trout Stamps are available at DNR Direct license and permit locations, including many bait shops, sporting goods stores and other retail outlets. For a location near you, check the IDNR website at this link: http://dnr.illinois.gov/DNRDirectMonitor/VendorListing.aspx .

Fishing licenses and trout stamps can also be purchased by using a credit card through DNR Direct online via the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov, or by calling DNR Direct toll-free at 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648).

NOTE: Not all fall trout sites open at 5 a.m. on opening day. Anglers are reminded to check the opening time of their favorite trout fishing location prior to the season. For more information about all site regulations, anglers should contact individual sites that will be stocked with catchable-size trout.

Update (10/3/18): Due to low dissolved oxygen levels and warm water conditions at Citizen’s Lake in Monmouth (Warren County), IDNR will not stock trout at Citizen’s Lake for the 2018 Fall Trout Fishing Season.  Trout that were to have been stocked at Citizen’s Lake will instead be added to the stocking at Argyle Lake at Argyle Lake State Park (McDonough County).

The 58 locations that will be open for Fall Trout Fishing Season are listed below:

2018 Illinois Fall Trout Locations

(* Denotes Sites Open for Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing Early Season)

North

Central

South