Illinois Code of Angling Ethics

Recreational fishing in Illinois is not only an important leisure activity, but also a vital part of our economy. A survey conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that 873,000 anglers fished in Illinois and the associated dollars spent on fishing trips totaled $774 million. With those kinds of numbers, it is in all of our best interest to keep the waters in Illinois healthy and our fisheries stable for generations to come.

To increase the awareness of the important role we all play in protecting our fisheries, anglers are asked to embrace a Code of Angling Ethics to serve as a reminder that we are the stewards of our valuable aquatic resources.

Anglers pledge to:

Helpful Information:

Fishing licenses and permits can be purchased online at, or by calling Customer Service at 866-716-6550. A license is required for fishing in all Illinois waters, including lakes, reservoirs, rivers and streams. Licenses are not required for anglers who are under the age of 16, blind or disabled anglers, or residents on active military service.

The Fishing Regulations Guide can be dowloaded here.