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Illinois spring trout fishing season opens April 1

SPRINGFIELD – 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 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. 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 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.

To find a location nearby, visit the IDNR website at

Fishing licenses and trout stamps also can 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).

Area lakes available for trout fishing include:

Kankakee County – Bird Park Quarry Kankakee

Kendall County – Big Lake, Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area

LaSalle County – Lake Mendota, Village of Mendota

Will County – Lake Milliken, Des Plaines Conservation Area

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