Welcome to I Fish Illinois—Illinois DNR Division of Fisheries

Join the Midwest Walleye Challenge!

Illinois anglers who chase walleye, sauger or saugeye are invited to participate in the virtual Midwest Walleye Challenge in 2024! The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has teamed up with other states, provinces, and developers and researchers at Anglers Atlas to launch this year's competition, which began March 30, 2024 and continues through June 30, 2024.

The Midwest Walleye Challenge uses the mobile app MyCatch to record the length of each fish caught. Anglers take a picture of the fish on a measuring device using the app, and once the fish is reviewed by the catch team and meets the rules, it appears on a live leaderboard where anglers can see who is in the lead. All ages are invited to participate. Review the rules and event information here! Then download the app and you're ready to go!

Lake Michigan Program 2024 Newsletter

Be sure to check out our latest Lake Michigan Program Newsletter. The Newsletter is filled with Lake Michigan news, including updates from 2023 angling surveys and fish stock assessments, 2023 stocking numbers, planned 2024 stocking activities and more. Read the Newsletter here.

Other Lake Michigan reports can be found on our Lake Michigan web page under "population assessments." See our Lake Michigan page here.

2024 Spring Trout Season Opener

The 2024 Illinois Spring Trout Season opened Saturday, April 6 at 58 ponds, lakes, and streams throughout the state. The daily harvest limit for each angler is five trout.

All anglers must have a fishing license and an inland trout stamp unless exempt.You can find a local vendor or purchase your license/trout stamp online here.

See the listing of stocked sites here.

2024 Fishing Digest

The 2024 Fishing Digest can be downloaded now and will be available in your local gas stations and bait shops soon! Here's what's new this year:

  • The site specific sportfish regulation pages have a new, updated design
  • A new Federal Aid in Sportfish Restoration page provides details on how the Division of Fisheries is funded
  • A new Sturgeon page describes the differences in the 3 sturgeon found in Illinois, how to identify them, and information about the new Lake Sturgeon Recovery Project in Illinois

Reminder: Fishing licenses for the 2024 fishing season went on sale beginning March 1. These licenses expire March 31, 2025.

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.