Welcome to I Fish Illinois—Illinois DNR Division of Fisheries

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.

As a reminder: Your 2022 fishing license expires March 31, 2023. You can purchase your 2023 license beginning March 1, 2023.

2023 Pond Clinic

We get a lot of inquires about private pond management, and we will have answers during our 2023 Pond Clinic! Please join IDNR Fisheries Biologist David Wyffles for this free event. Topics that will be covered include pond construction, fish management, pond vegetation, habitats, and other various pond issues. The 2023 Pond Clinic will take place on February 25th from 8:00am – Noon at the Peru Community Center. RSVPS are due by February 17th.

You can find where to RSVP and details about the event here.

2023 Fishing Tournament Applications

Fishing tournament applications for the 2023 tournament season are now being accepted. Fishing tournament organizers can apply for a tournament permit using the INDR Tournament Permitting System. All applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Last year, we had over 2000 applications for fishing tournaments in Illinois!

Reminder: For returning groups, catch results from 2022 tournaments must be entered into the Tournament Permitting System before fishing clubs and tournament trails will be allowed to request tournament dates for 2023.

Choose Copi: Eat well. Do good.

Following more than two years of consumer research and planning, the State of Illinois unveiled the new name for Asian Carp: Copi. Copi is an environmentally friendly choice, it is a local, wild-caught fish from the fresh waters of the Midwest.

The new name and brand are designed to address public misconceptions about this delicious top-feeding fish, which is overrunning Midwest waterways. Copi (choosecopi.com) are mild, clean-tasting fish with heart-healthy omega-3s and very low levels of mercury. Increased consumption will help to stop them from decimating other fish populations in the Great Lakes and restore an ecological balance to waterways down stream.

Read the IDNR press release here.

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.