Welcome to I Fish Illinois—Illinois DNR Division of Fisheries

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 go on sale beginning March 1. Any licenses bought prior to March 1 are for the 2023 fishing season.

2024 Tournament Applications Being Accepted Now!

Starting November 1, 2023, fishing tournament organizers are able 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!

Reminder: For returning groups, catch results from 2023 tournaments must be entered before requesting tournament dates for 2024.

NOTE: For tournaments with fewer than 20 participants, tournament directors do not need to apply for an IDNR fishing tournament permit. Contact us for any questions regarding tournament applications.

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.