Illinois Spring Trout Fishing Season is Just Around the Corner

Trout Season Opens April 2

The 2016 Illinois spring trout fishing season opens on Saturday, April 2 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. Fly fishing anglers can use fly fishing gear to catch and release trout beginning March 19 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 2.

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 11 until the spring trout season opens at 5 a.m. on April 2. 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 2 — must have a valid 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.

NOTE: 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.

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 50 locations that will be open for spring trout season are listed below:

2016 Illinois Spring Trout Locations

(** Denotes Sites Open for Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing-Only Early Season)