Illinois Spring Trout Fishing Season is Just Around the Corner

Chris Young
Illinois Spring Trout Fishing Season is Just Around the Corner
SPRINGFIELD, IL � The 2015 Illinois spring trout fishing season opens on Saturday, April 4 at 46 ponds, lakes and streams throughout the state.  In addition to the bodies of water that have been stocked in the past for spring trout fishing, three additional areas will be open to rainbow trout fishing for the spring of 2015, and three additional locations will be available for catch-and-release fly fishing prior to the opening of the spring trout season.

The new locations for spring trout fishing are Morgan Lake (Nichols Park) in Jacksonville, Kings Park Pond in Pittsfield, and Willow Lake at Peabody River King State Fish and Wildlife Area in St. Clair Co.  The new catch-and-release fly fishing locations for this spring are Morgan Lake, Willow Lake, and Rock Creek in Kankakee River State Park.

The new Spring Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing-only season will be available at nine sites beginning on March 21.  IDNR first offered the catch-and-release fly fishing-only season at a number of trout locations last fall.  Fly fishing anglers can use fly fishing gear to catch and release trout beginning March 21 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 4.
The Illinois catchable trout program is funded entirely 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.

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 4.  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 4 ��� 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.

Not all sites open at 5 a.m. on opening day. Anglers are reminded to check the opening time of their favorite trout fishing location prior to the season.

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. The 46 locations that will be open for spring trout season are listed below:

2015 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 --- 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, Utica 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 --- 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 --- 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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