Welcome to I Fish Illinois—Illinois DNR Division of Fisheries

2021 Fishing Licenses

Fishing Licenses for 2021 do not go on sale until March 1st and will expire on March 31, 2022. Your current license does not expire until March 31 of this year, so you have plenty of time to get a new one....just not until March 1st. If you buy a fishing license prior to March 1, 2021, it is for the 2020 fishing season and will expire at the end of March 2021. So please wait to purchase your new fishing license until March 1st.

After March 1, you can purchase your fishing license online here.

Asian Carp: The Perfect Catch

In its continuing efforts to further reduce the spread of Asian Carp in our waterways, IDNR has embarked on an exciting new initiative to improve the perception — and ultimately increase human consumption — of these healthy, delicious fish.

Click to learn about Asian Carp's benefits and sales information, or see a recent presentation on this initiative. Eat well, do good!

Record-Breaking Burbot Hooked!

We have another new Illinois record-breaking Burbot catch! Less than three weeks after the last record-setting Burbot was caught by Luc van Brenk, we've got a new title holder. Congratulations to Saro Kevorkian, who hooked the new Illinois record-breaking Burbot yesterday evening from Diversey Harbor in Lake Michigan. The record fish weighed in at 11 pounds 12.5 ounces and was 33 inches long. Saro's catch topped the Illinois record Burbot caught in November, also from Lake Michigan, by 2 pounds 2 ounces.

The fish was held overnight alive at Park Bait and was successfully released back into the lake this morning after certification. If you think you've hooked a record-breaker, be sure to see the guidelines of what to do next here.

See all the hook-and-line record breakers here.

Muskie Creel Survey

Please help us gain important information about muskies caught in Illinois waters by reporting them to us via our Muskie Creel Survey Report Card.The information we gain from our anglers is invaluable. This survey is jointly sponsored by the Illini Muskies Alliance and the IDNR. Completing this form as soon as you can after your catch is much appreciated!

Thank you to the angler who let us know that our system was not accepting length in decimals, only in whole numbers. This has now been updated, so go ahead and catch a 49.25" muskie!

The Illinois Hatchery System

Illinois is home to three very productive fish hatcheries — Jake Wolf Memorial, LaSalle and Little Grassy Fish Hatcheries. The Illinois Hatchery System is dedicated to enhancing fish populations in Illinois waters by producing adequate numbers of various species of fish to meet stocking demands statewide. In fact, at full capacity the system can produce over 50 million fish of 20 species! State hatcheries also work with other US hatcheries to obtain fish eggs and fry to supplement on-site production for certain species.

To learn more about our hatchery system, as well as the hours they are open for visits from the public, see our page here.

Interested in where we stock fish? See our stocking page 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.