Spring Trout Season Opener Announced
March 19 — Catch-and-release fly fishing opens at select locations
April 2 — Illinois Spring Trout Season Opens
The 2016 Illinois spring trout fishing season opens on Saturday, April 2nd at 50 ponds, lakes, and streams throughout the state. Prospect Park in Moline has been added to the list of spring trout fishing locations.The Spring Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing-Only season will be available at nine sites beginning on March 19. The IDNR stocks more than 80,000 rainbow trout each year in bodies of water where trout fishing is permitted during the spring season. The Illinois catchable trout program is funded entirely by those who use the program through the sale of Inland Trout Stamps. See locations here.
Vote for Illinois Top Fishing Spots
America's Top Family Fishing & Boating Spots Sweepstakes is back for its third year with an instant win component! From now through March 27, 2016, you can vote for your favorite family-friendly fishing and boating locations in Illinois. There are six Illinois sites listed: Carlyle, Chain O'Lakes SP, North Point Marina (Lake Michigan), Kinkaid Lake, Sangchris Lake SP, Starved Rock SP, Wayne Fitzgerrell SP and Wolf Creek SP. To vote and be entered in the sweepstakes: https://takemefishing.prizelogic.com/
Illinois fishing, hunting and sportsman's combination licenses and usage stamps for 2016 are now available from DNR Direct license and permit vendors, online through the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov, or by calling 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648). The automated license system is available 24 hours a day. The 2016 licenses and usage stamps purchased beginning January 18 will be valid through March 31, 2017 unless otherwise noted. Be sure to pick up your 2016 license today!
Lake Michigan Fisheries Update Newsletter
The 2016 fishing season is rapidly approaching. Biologists from IDNR's Lake Michigan Program have prepared a newsletter highlighting results from 2015 stocking, field sampling activities and angler harvest surveys. Included is information on yellow perch, salmon and trout, bass, prey fish populations and more. Download the newsletter here.
Boating Safety Classes
Throughout the year, many people operate motor-driven watercraft on the Illinois waters and many operate for the first time. We encourage individuals – both novice and experienced – to take the course.
Did you know:
– No person under 10 years of age can operate a motorboat
– Age 10 and up to 12 years can operate only under guardian control
– Persons at least 12 and less than 18 years may not operate a motorboat with over 10 horse power without a valid Boating Safety Certificate.
There are two ways to take the course:
Online (click here or here for more info) or
Instructor-Led (Listing of education courses by county).
Live in the Bloomington, Illinois area? There is a Boating Safety Education Class being offered on March 5. See the details here.
Stop the Spread of Invasive Species
Remove, Drain, Dry: As the boats come out of storage, we'd like to remind you to be aware of invasive species that pose a threat to our lands and waterways. To fight the spread of aquatic invaders, the IDNR is asking residents to "be a hero transport zero." The best way to stop the spread of invasive species is to remove, drain, and dry your boats after use in any Illinois waterway. Learn more here.