Illinois Spring Trout Fishing Season Opens April 4 — Catch-And-Release March 21

Illinois Spring Trout Fishing Season Opens April 4 — Catch-And-Release March 21

With all that’s going on these days regarding the coronavirus, it’s probably pleasant to think about what it might be like to just get away from the crowds and … go fishing.

Well, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has some good news on that score.

While there are no trout fishing locations in Kane County, according to the IDNR, there are some locations very close by.

If you live in Kane County and want to trout fish, you might be interested in knowing that the 2020 Illinois Spring Trout Fishing Season will open Saturday, April 4, at 56 ponds, lakes and streams throughout the state.

An early opportunity at select trout sites — the Spring Catch-and-Release Fishing Season — will open March 21. No trout may be kept during the catch and release fishing period, but anglers can keep trout after the opening of the regular season beginning April 4.

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. An additional 80,000 trout will be stocked for the Fall Trout Fishing Season, which begins in October.

For the 2020 spring trout season, no trout may be taken from any of the stocked sites from March 15 until the season opens at 5 a.m. April 4. Anyone attempting to harvest trout before the legal harvest season opening will be issued citations.

All anglers – including those who intend to release fish caught before April 4 – 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.

Two traditional spring trout fishing locations are closed this year. The Waddams Creek site at Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Recreational Area and Manners Park Pond in Taylorville will be temporarily removed from stocking for site maintenance purposes.

For more information on trout seasons and other Illinois fishing opportunities, check the website at

Illinois 2020 fishing licenses and Inland Trout Stamps are available now at DNR Direct license and permit locations, including many bait shops, sporting goods stores and other retail outlets. For a list of locations, check the IDNR website at this link:

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).

For information about all site regulations, anglers should contact individual sites that will be stocked with catchable-size trout.  Not all sites open at 5:00 a.m. on opening day. Anglers are reminded to check the opening time of their favorite sites prior to the open date.

The 56 locations that will be open for the spring trout season are listed below.

2020 Illinois Spring Trout Locations

(** Denotes sites open for Catch-and-Release Early Spring Season fishing)

North — Boone County — Mill Race Ponds, Belvidere
North — Bureau County — Hennepin Canal Parkway
North — Cook County — Axehead Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District
North — Cook County — Belleau Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District
North — Cook County — Green Lake in Calumet City, Cook County Forest Preserve District

North — Cook County — Horsetail Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District
North — Cook County — Wolf Lake at William W. Powers State Recreation Area, Chicago
North — DuPage County — Silver Lake, DuPage County Forest Preserve District
North — DuPage County — Pickerel Lake, DuPage County Forest Preserve District
North — DuPage County— Grove Lake, DuPage County Forest Preserve District
North — Jo Daviess County — Apple River, Apple River Canyon State Park **
North — Kankakee County — Bird Park Quarry, Kankakee
North — Kankakee County — Rock Creek, Kankakee River State Park **
North — Kendall County — Big Lake, Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area (SFWA)
North — Lake County — Banana Lake, Lake County Forest Preserve District
North — Lake County — Sand Lake, Illinois Beach State Park
North — LaSalle County — Illinois and Michigan Canal Lock 14, LaSalle
North — LaSalle County — Lake Mendota, Village of Mendota
North — McHenry County — Lake Atwood, McHenry County Conservation District
North — McHenry County — Piscasaw Creek, McHenry County Conservation District
North — Ogle County — Pine Creek, White Pines Forest State Park **
North — Rock Island County— Prospect Park, Moline
North — Stephenson — Yellow Creek in Krape Park, Freeport
North — Whiteside County — Centennial Park Pond, Rock Falls
North — Will County — Lake Milliken, Des Plaines SFWA
North — Winnebago County — Four Lakes, Winnebago County Forest Preserve District
North — Winnebago County — Baumann Lake, Cherry Valley

Central — Adams County — Siloam Springs State Park Lake **
Central — Cass County — Gridley Lake, Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA **
Central — Champaign County — Lake of the Woods, Champaign Co. Forest Preserve Dist.
Central — Champaign County — Kaufman Lake, Champaign Park District
Central — Coles County — Eastern Illinois University Campus Pond, Charleston
Central — De Witt County — Weldon Springs, Weldon Springs State Park
Central — Clark County — Casey Park Pond, Casey
Central — Hancock County — Horton Lake, Nauvoo State Park **
Central — Macon County — Sportsman’s Club Pond, Macon County Conservation District
Central — McLean County — Miller Park Lake, Bloomington
Central — Morgan County — Morgan Lake at Nichols Park, Jacksonville **
Central — Moultrie County — Wyman Lake, Sullivan
Central — Pike County — King Park Pond, Pittsfield
Central — Sangamon County — Southwind Park, Springfield
Central — Sangamon County — IDOT Lake, Springfield **
Central — Sangamon County — Washington Park Pond, Springfield
Central — Shelby County — Forest Park Lagoon, Shelbyville
Central — Vermilion County — Clear Lake, Kickapoo State Recreation Area

South — Jefferson County — Mount Vernon Game Farm Pond
South — Johnson County — Ferne Clyffe State Park Lake
South — Madison County — Belk Park Pond, Wood River
South — Marion County — Boston Pond, Stephen A. Forbes State Recreation Area
South — Massac County — Fairgrounds Pond, Fort Massac State Park
South — Randolph County — Derby Lake, Sparta (World Shooting and Recreational Complex)
South — St. Clair County — Frank Holten State Park Main Lake
South — St. Clair County — Jones Park Lake, East St. Louis
South — St. Clair County — Willow Lake at Peabody River King SFWA**

South — Wabash County — Beall Woods Lake, Beall Woods State Park
South — Wayne County — Sam Dale Conservation Area Trout Pond