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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.


Fishing Forecast:

Species

Rank

Avg Wt.
(pounds)

Avg.
Length
(inches)

Fishing Tips

BLUEGILL

Good

N/A

N/A

CARP

Good

N/A

N/A

CRAPPIE

Good

N/A

N/A

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Good

N/A

N/A

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

NORTHERN PIKE

Excellent

N/A

N/A

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

N/A

N/A

SMALLMOUTH BASS

Fair

N/A

N/A

Smallies are present, but not common

WALLEYE

Fair

N/A

N/A

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

2017 Approved or Pending Tournaments
Start Date End Date
(if different from start)
ID Ramp Location Bank/Boat
Hook/Bow
Max Boats Species Public?
March-256531Harborside Marina bank
hook
0Common Carp
Yes
March-264571Big Basin boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
March-286595Big Basin boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
April-016177Big Basin boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
April-046596Big Basin boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
April-086192Three Rivers Marina boat
bow
30Multiple SpeciesYes
April-094322Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
April-116597Big Basin boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
April-154557Big Basin boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
Yes
April-235771Big Basin boat
hook
50Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Spotted Bass
Yes
April-256598Big Basin boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
April-264276Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
April-294498Big Basin boat
hook
50Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
May-034257Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
May-034573Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
May-074560Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
Yes
May-096599Big Basin boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
May-136762Big Basin boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
May-144326Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
May-145772Big Basin boat
hook
50Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Spotted Bass
Yes
May-174270Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
May-174574Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
May-214301Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
May-236600Big Basin boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
May-244274Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
May-276304Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
May-314575Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Yes
June-034297Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
June-044562Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
Yes
June-066601Big Basin boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
June-074282Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
June-115774Big Basin boat
hook
50Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Spotted Bass
Yes
June-144576Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
June-206602Big Basin boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
June-214288Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
June-284578Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
July-025775Big Basin boat
hook
50Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Spotted Bass
Yes
July-054294Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
July-085533Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
10Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
July-094329Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
July-124579Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
July-186603Big Basin boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
July-194299Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
July-236382Big Basin boat
hook
8Largemouth Bass
No
July-264580Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
July-306059Big Basin boat
hook
50Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
August-016604Big Basin boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
August-024305Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
August-064292Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
August-094306Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
August-094581Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
August-134331Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
August-134563Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
August-156605Big Basin boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
August-164308Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
August-205776Big Basin boat
hook
50Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Spotted Bass
Yes
August-234309Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
August-234582Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
15Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
August-296606Big Basin boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
August-304312Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
September-104333Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
September-126607Big Basin boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
September-174593Harborside Marina boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
No
September-244286Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
September-266608Big Basin boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
October-014382Big Basin boat
hook
30Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
October-084335Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
October-146609Three Rivers Marina boat
hook
20Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
October-154568Des Plaines SFWA boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes
October-225778Big Basin boat
hook
50Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Spotted Bass
Yes
November-054572Big Basin boat
hook
25Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Yes