Illinois Spring Trout Fishing Season Opens April 1

Ed Cross
Illinois Spring Trout Fishing Season Opens April 1
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The 2017 Illinois Spring Trout Fishing Season opens on Saturday, April 1 at 52 ponds, lakes and streams throughout the state. 

A new location for spring trout fishing this year is Horsetail Lake in the Cook County Forest Preserve District system.

The Spring Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing-only season will be available at nine sites beginning on March 18.  Fly fishing anglers can use fly fishing gear to catch and release trout beginning March 18 at the nine select sites designated in the list below.  No trout may be kept during the fly fishing-only period, but anglers can keep trout after the opening of the regular season beginning April 1.
The Illinois Catchable Trout Program is funded by those who use the program through the sale of Inland Trout Stamps.  The IDNR stocks more than 80,000 rainbow trout each year in bodies of water where trout fishing is permitted during the spring season, and an additional 80,000 trout for the fall season.

No trout may be taken from any of the stocked sites from March 15 until the Spring Trout Season opens at 5 a.m. on April 1.  Anyone attempting to take (harvest) trout before the legal harvest season opening will be issued citations. 

All anglers – including those using fly fishing gear who intend to release fish caught before April 1 ¬¬– must have a fishing license and an Inland Trout Stamp, unless they are under the age of 16, blind or disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from active duty in the Armed Forces. The daily catch limit for each angler is five trout.

For more information on trout seasons and other Illinois fishing opportunities, check the website at

Illinois fishing licenses and Inland Trout Stamps are available at DNR Direct license and permit locations, including many bait shops, sporting goods stores and other retail outlets.  For a location near you, check the IDNR website at this link:

Fishing licenses and trout stamps can also be purchased by using a credit card through DNR Direct online via the IDNR website at, or by calling DNR Direct toll-free at 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648).

For more information about all site regulations, anglers should contact individual sites that will be stocked with catchable-size trout. Not all sites open at 5 a.m. on opening day. Anglers are reminded to check the opening time of their favorite sites prior to the opening date.  The 52 locations that will be open for spring trout season are listed below:

2017 Illinois Spring Trout Locations
(** Denotes Sites Open for Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing-Only Early Season)

 North --- Boone County --- Mill Race Ponds, Belvidere
 North --- Bureau County  --- Hennepin Canal Parkway
 North --- Cook County --- Wolf Lake at William W. Powers State Recreation Area, Chicago
 North --- Cook County --- Green Lake in Calumet City, Cook County Forest Preserve District
 North --- Cook County --- Axehead Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District
 North --- Cook County --- Belleau Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District
 North --- Cook County --- Sag Quarry East, Cook County Forest Preserve District
North --- Cook County --- Horsetail Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District (New for 2017)
North --- DuPage County --- Silver Lake, DuPage County Forest Preserve District
 North --- Jo Daviess County --- Apple River, Apple River State Park **
 North --- Kankakee County --- Bird Park Quarry, Kankakee
 North --- Kankakee County --- Rock Creek, Kankakee River State Park **
 North --- Kendall County --- Big Lake, Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area
 North --- LaSalle County --- Illinois and Michigan Canal, La Salle
 North --- LaSalle County --- Lake Mendota, Village of Mendota
 North --- Lake  County --- Sand Lake, Illinois Beach State Park
 North --- McHenry County --- Lake Atwood, McHenry County Conservation District
 North --- McHenry County --- Piscasaw Creek, McHenry County Conservation District 
 North --- Ogle County --- Pine Creek, White Pines Forest State Park **
 North---  Rock Island County--- Prospect Park, Moline
 North --- Stephenson --- Waddams Creek, Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Recreation Area
 North --- Stephenson --- Yellow Creek in Krape Park, Freeport
 North --- Whiteside  County --- Centennial Park Pond, Rock Falls
 North --- Will County --- Lake Milliken, Des Plaines Conservation Area
 North --- Winnebago County --- Four Lakes, Winnebago County Forest Preserve District

 Central --- Adams County --- Siloam Springs State Park Lake **
 Central --- Cass County --- Gridley Lake, Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA **
 Central --- Champaign County --- Lake of the Woods, Champaign Co. Forest Preserve Dist.
 Central --- Christian County --- Manners Park Pond, Taylorville Park District
 Central --- Coles County --- Eastern Illinois University Campus Pond, Charleston
 Central --- Hancock County --- Horton Lake, Nauvoo State Park **
 Central --- Macon County --- Sportsman’s Club Pond, Macon County Conservation District
 Central --- McLean County --- Miller Park Lake, Bloomington
 Central --- Morgan County --- Morgan Lake at Nichols Park, Jacksonville **
 Central --- Moultrie County --- Wyman Lake, Sullivan
 Central --- Pike County --- Kings Park Pond, Pittsfield
 Central --- Rock Island County --- Prospect Park, Moline
 Central --- Sangamon County ---  Southwind Park, Springfield
 Central --- Sangamon County --- IDOT Lake, Springfield **
 Central --- Sangamon  County --- Washington Park Pond, Springfield
 Central --- Shelby County --- Forest Park Lagoon, Shelbyville
 Central --- Vermilion County --- Clear Lake, Kickapoo State Recreation Area

 South --- Jefferson  County --- Mount Vernon Game Farm Pond
 South --- Johnson County --- Ferne Clyffe State Park Lake
 South --- Marion County --- Boston Pond, Stephen A. Forbes State Recreation Area
 South --- Massac County --- Fairgrounds Pond, Fort Massac State Park
 South --- Randolph County --- Derby Lake, Sparta (World Shooting and Recreational   Complex)
 South --- St. Clair County --- Frank Holten State Park Main Lake
 South --- St. Clair County --- Jones Park Lake, East St. Louis
 South --- St. Claire County --- Willow Lake at Peabody River King State Fish and Wildlife Area **
 South --- Wabash County --- Beall Woods Lake, Beall Woods State Park
 South --- Wayne County --- Sam Dale Trout Pond, Sam Dale Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area
Follow IDNR on Facebook and Twitter