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Illinois trout season: More early fly fishing options

Illinois continues to add to its early fly-fishing options for its stocked trout program. That includes adding Rock Creek at Kankakee River State Park this spring.


Just an aside, I have mixed feelings about whether we should be stocking hatchery rainbow trout into a waterway like Rock Creek.

And in other area notes, Wolf Lake will again be stocked with trout.

And an aside, some of the local forest preserves do their own stockings in lakes not listed here. I will add those at another time when I pull them together.

Here is the word from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Illinois Spring Trout Fishing Season is Just Around the Corner

Trout Season Opens April 4; New Spring Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing-Only Season Opens March 21 at select sites

SPRINGFIELD, IL The 2015 Illinois spring trout fishing season opens on Saturday, April 4 at 46 ponds, lakes and streams throughout the state. In addition to the bodies of water that have been stocked in the past for spring trout fishing, three additional areas will be open to rainbow trout fishing for the spring of 2015, and three additional locations will be available for catch-and-release fly fishing prior to the opening of the spring trout season.

The new locations for spring trout fishing are Morgan Lake (Nichols Park) in Jacksonville, Kings Park Pond in Pittsfield, and Willow Lake at Peabody River King State Fish and Wildlife Area in St. Clair Co. The new catch-and-release fly fishing locations for this spring are Morgan Lake, Willow Lake, and Rock Creek in Kankakee River State Park.

The new Spring Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing-only season will be available at nine sites beginning on March 21. IDNR first offered the catch-and-release fly fishing-only season at a number of trout locations last fall. Fly fishing anglers can use fly fishing gear to catch and release trout beginning March 21 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 4.

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 15 until the spring trout season opens at 5 a.m. on April 4. 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 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.

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.

For more 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. 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 46 locations that will be open for spring trout season are listed below:

2015 Illinois Spring Trout Locations (** Denotes Sites Open for Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing-Only Early Season)

North --- Boone County --- Mill Race Ponds, Belvidere

North --- Bureau County --- Hennepin Canal Parkway

North --- Cook County --- Wolf Lake at William W. Powers State Recreation Area, Chicago

North --- Cook County --- Green Lake in Calumet City, Cook County Forest Preserve District

North --- DuPage County --- Silver Lake, DuPage County Forest Preserve District

North --- Jo Daviess County --- Apple River, Apple River 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

North --- LaSalle County --- Illinois and Michigan Canal, Utica

North --- LaSalle County --- Lake Mendota, Village of Mendota

North --- Lake County --- Sand Lake, Illinois Beach State Park

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 --- Stephenson --- Waddams Creek, Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Recreation Area

North --- Stephenson --- Yellow Creek in Krape Park, Freeport

North --- Whiteside County --- Centennial Park Pond, Rock Falls

North --- Will County --- Lake Milliken, Des Plaines Conservation Area

North --- Winnebago County --- Four Lakes, Winnebago County Forest Preserve District

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 --- Christian County --- Manners Park Pond, Taylorville Park District

Central --- Coles County --- Eastern Illinois University Campus Pond, Charleston

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 --- Kings 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 --- 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 --- Willow Lake at Peabody River King State Fish and Wildlife Area **

South --- Wabash County --- Beall Woods Lake, Beall Woods State Park

South --- Wayne County --- Sam Dale Trout Pond, Sam Dale Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area

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