Welcome to I Fish Illinois—Illinois DNR Division of Fisheries

2023 Spring Trout Season

Spring Fever has hit Illinois! The Spring Trout Season will open Saturday, April 1, at 58 ponds, lakes, and streams throughout the state. An early opportunity at select sites, the Spring Catch-and-Release Season, opens March 18.

As a reminder, as we are starting to stock the sites for the 2023 spring trout season, no trout may be taken from any of the stocked sites from March 13 until the season opens at 5:00 a.m. April. Trout stamps and licenses for the 2023 season are available online here: https://www.exploremoreil.com.

The list of stocked sites can be found here!

2023 Fishing Licenses On Sale Now!

Fishing licenses for the 2023 season are now on sale both online and at your local vendors! These licenses are good until March 31, 2024. Your 2022 fishing license does not expire until March 31, 2023.

We thank everyone for buying their fishing licenses. You can find a local vendor or purchase your license online here.

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 will be available soon.

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.