Stocking Public Waters

Each year, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Division of Fisheries stocks fish in public lakes, ponds, and rivers. Many of these fish are produced in the state's three freshwater hatcheries. Since 1984, Illinois hatcheries have been responsible for stocking over 400 million sportfish into Illinois lakes, rivers and streams.

Use these pages to find out when species were stocked and where throughout the state of Illinois.

Fish Stocking Reports

Report by Species and Year

Report by Waterbody

Special Programs:

Trout Stocking - The Illinois Catchable Trout Program is funded by those who use the program through the sale of Inland Trout Stamps. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) stocks more than 80,000 rainbow trout in bodies of water where trout fishing is permitted during the spring season. An additional 80,000 trout will be stocked for the Fall Trout Fishing Season, which begins in October.

Urban Fishing Program - The Illinois Urban Fishing Program, a part of the Community Outreach and Resource Enhancement Program, was initiated in Chicago in 1985. This program was implemented to teach people of all ages to fish, to provide better local fishing opportunities, and to give participants an understanding of and a greater appreciation for natural resources. Free fishing clinics are scheduled at 20 sites throughout the state.

Why Do We Stock Fish?

The Illinois Hatchery System is composed of three facilities:

  1. Jake Wolf Memorial Fish Hatchery, in Mason County near Pekin
  2. Little Grassy Fish Hatchery, in Williamson County near Carbondale
  3. LaSalle Hatchery, in LaSalle County near Marseilles

The statewide distribution of the three hatcheries allows them to complement and supplement each other, while giving great latitude in rearing a wide variety of species and aiding in the distribution of fish throughout the state. At full capacity, the system is capable of producing over 50 million fish of 18 species.

The Illinois Hatchery System plays a major role in improving the quality of fishing in Illinois. Since 1984, over a billion fish have been produced by the system and stocked into Illinois lakes, ponds, reservoirs, and streams. Stocking can be a useful fisheries management tool, though it is not a cure-all. Stocking can be helpful for: