Illinois Spring Trout Fishing Season Opens April 7

Ed Cross
Illinois Spring Trout Fishing Season Opens April 7
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The 2018 Illinois Spring Trout fishing season is just a few weeks away. Anglers will need both a fishing license and an Inland Trout Stamp to participate, unless they are under the age of 16, blind, disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from active duty in the Armed Forces.

Licenses and trout stamps will be available for purchase on the Illinois Department of Resources (IDNR) website and at DNR Direct license and permit locations, including many bait shops, sporting goods stores and other retail outlets, starting Thursday, March 1.

The Spring Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing season opens at nine sites on March 24.  Anglers can use fly fishing gear to catch trout at that time, but they cannot keep the fish. All trout must be released until after the opening of the regular spring trout season, which begins at 5 a.m. on April 7. Anyone attempting to take trout before the legal harvest season opening will be issued citations. 
The IDNR stocks more than 80,000 rainbow trout each year, with 54 ponds, lakes and streams throughout the state being stocked for the spring season, and an additional 80,000 trout stocked 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 7. 

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

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 54 locations that will be open for spring trout season are listed below:

2018 Illinois Spring Trout Locations
(** Denotes Sites Open for Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing 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
North --- DuPage County --- Silver Lake, DuPage County Forest Preserve District
North --- DuPage County --- Pickerel Lake, DuPage County Forest Preserve District
North --- DuPage County--- Grove 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 --- Lake County --- Banana Lake, Lake County Forest Preserve District
 North --- Lake County --- Sand Lake, Illinois Beach State Park
 North --- LaSalle County --- Illinois and Michigan Canal, LaSalle
 North --- LaSalle County --- Lake Mendota, Village of Mendota
 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 --- 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
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