SPRINGFIELD -- 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 are now 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.
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.
For more information on trout seasons and other Illinois fishing opportunities, check the website at www.ifishillinois.org.
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.
Local 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-Only Early Season)
- Champaign County --- Lake of the Woods, Champaign Co. Forest Preserve Dist.
- Christian County --- Manners Park Pond, Taylorville Park District
- Coles County --- Eastern Illinois University Campus Pond, Charleston
- Macon County --- Sportsman’s Club Pond, Macon County Conservation District
- McLean County --- Miller Park Lake, Bloomington
- Morgan County --- Morgan Lake at Nichols Park, Jacksonville **
- Moultrie County --- Wyman Lake, Sullivan
- Sangamon County --- Southwind Park, Springfield
- Sangamon County --- IDOT Lake, Springfield **
- Sangamon County --- Washington Park Pond, Springfield
- Shelby County --- Forest Park Lagoon, Shelbyville
- Vermilion County --- Clear Lake, Kickapoo State Recreation Area
For more information or the full list of state locations, visit www2.illinois.gov.