Welcome to I Fish Illinois—Illinois DNR Division of Fisheries

Illinois Fall Trout Season

The 2023 Illinois Fall Trout Fishing Season opens October 21st at 59 ponds, lakes, and streams throughout the state.

The early catch-and-release season, scheduled to open October 7th, will be stocked later than expected due to forecasted and observed warm water temperatures. Trout stocked in waters warmer than 70 degrees will experience high mortality. IDNR will stock the early catch-and-release sites as soon as water temperatures cool — updates will be provided here, so please check back often!

All anglers, including those who participate in the early catch-and-release season, must have an Illinois fishing license and inland trout stamp. Check the IDNR website for locations at https://www.exploremoreil.com/agentlocator. See here for a complete list of stocked sites.

2024 Tournament Applications Accepted Beginning November 1, 2023

Starting November 1, 2023, fishing tournament organizers can apply to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) for 2024 fishing tournament permits. Fishing tournament organizers can apply for a tournament permit using the INDR Tournament Permitting System. Applications are reviewed on a "first come, first served" basis. Last year, we had over 2500 applications for fishing tournaments in Illinois!

Note: For returning groups, catch results from 2023 tournaments must be entered before fishing clubs and tournament trails will be allowed to request tournament dates for 2024.

Contact us for any questions regarding tournament applications.

2023 Fishing Digest Available Now!

The 2023 Fishing Digest can be downloaded now and will be available in your local gas stations and bait shops soon! You will find updated sportfishing regulations for your favorite spots, pictures of common Illinois sportfish, places to fish and amenities offered, current state record fish, and more. NEW this year is a change to the tournament fishing adrule. In an effort to reduce mortality of bass, during the months of July and August, all catch, hold for weigh-in, and release Black Bass Fishing Tournaments must be off the water between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. This regulation will help protect bass during the hottest part of the day through the hottest months of the year, while still allowing for morning and evening tournaments. Effective from April 1, 2023 through March 31, 2024, a Spanish verison is also available.

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.