Illinois 2020 Fall Trout Season Opens October 17; Spring Wild Turkey Info. Released

The 2020 Illinois Fall Trout Fishing Season opens Saturday, Oct. 17 at more than 50 ponds, lakes, and streams throughout the state.

An early opportunity at select trout sites – the Fall Catch-and-Release Fishing Season – will open Oct. 3 at locations marked with an asterisk (*) in the list below. 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 Oct. 17.

The Illinois catchable trout program is funded by those who use the program through the sale of Inland Trout Stamps and the Illinois Fish Management Fund.

No trout may be taken from any of the stocked sites from Oct. 1 until the fall trout season opens Oct. 17. Anyone attempting to take (harvest) trout before the legal harvest season opening will be issued citations.

All anglers — including those who intend to release fish caught before Oct. 17 — 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 (5) trout.

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. Check the IDNR website at:

Fishing licenses and trout stamps also can be purchased by using a credit card through DNR Direct online via the IDNR website at

Not all of the fall trout sites listed below open at 5:00 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 about all site regulations, anglers should contact individual sites that will be stocked with catchable-size trout.

Participants in Fall Trout Fishing Season are reminded to follow current public health directives, including maintaining social distancing guidelines, bringing with them masks in case social distancing cannot be maintained and hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol.

The Forest Preserves of Cook County has not made a final decision on opening for trout season, due to conditions related to COVID-19. Please check the FPCC website at for updates closer to Oct. 17, 2020.  

The locations that will be open for Fall Trout Fishing Season are listed below:

2020 Illinois Fall Trout Locations
(* Denotes Sites Open for Catch-and-Release Fishing Early Season)

North Region
Bureau County: Hennepin Canal Parkway
Cook County: Wolf Lake, William W. Powers State Recreation Area
Jo Daviess County: Apple River, Apple River State Park *
Kankakee County: Bird Park Quarry, Kankakee
Kankakee County: Rock Creek, Kankakee River State Park *
Kendall County: Big Lake at Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area
Lake County: Sand Lake, Illinois Beach State Park
LaSalle County: Illinois and Michigan Canal, Lock 14, La Salle-Peru
McHenry County: Spring Grove Hatchery Pond
Ogle County: Pine Creek, White Pines Forest State Park *
Rock Island County: Prospect Park
Warren County: Citizen’s Lake, Monmouth
Whiteside County: Centennial Park Pond, Rock Falls
Will County: Lake Strini, Romeoville
Will County: Van Horn Woods, Plainfield
Winnebago County: Bauman Lake, Cherry Valley

Central Region
Adams County: Siloam Springs State Park Lake *
Cass County: Gridley Lake at Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA *
Champaign County: Kaufman Lake, Champaign Park District
Christian County: Manners Park Pond, Taylorville Park District
Clark County:  Casey Park Pond, Casey Park District
Coles County: Eastern Illinois University Campus Pond, Charleston
DeWitt County:  Weldon Springs State Park Lake
Douglas County: Villa Grove West Lake
Hancock County: Horton Lake, Nauvoo State Park *
Macon County: Rock Springs Pond, Macon County Conservation District
Macoupin County: Beaver Dam State Park Lake
McDonough County: Argyle Lake, Argyle Lake State Park
Morgan County: Morgan Lake, Nichols Park, Jacksonville *
Sangamon County: IDOT Lake, Springfield *
Sangamon County: Southwind Park Pond, Springfield
Sangamon County: Washington Park Pond, Springfield
Shelby County: Forest Park Lagoon, Shelbyville
Tazewell County: Mineral Springs Park Lagoon, Pekin
Vermilion County: Clear Lake, Kickapoo State Recreation Area

South Region
Bond County: Greenville Old City Lake
Crawford County: Crawford County Conservation Area Pond #6
Jefferson County: Mount Vernon Game Farm Pond
Johnson County: Ferne Clyffe State Park Lake
Madison County: Belk Park Pond, Wood River
Madison County: Highland Old City Lake
Marion County: Boston Pond, Stephen A. Forbes State Park
Massac County: Fairgrounds Pond, Fort Massac State Park, Metropolis
Randolph County: Derby Lake, World Shooting and Recreational Complex, Sparta
Randolph County: Randolph County Lake
Saline County: Jones State Lake Pond
St. Clair County: Frank Holten State Recreation Area main lake
St. Clair County: Jones Park Lake, East St. Louis
St. Clair County: Willow Lake, Peabody River King State Fish and Wildlife Area *
Wabash County: Beall Woods Lake, Beall Woods State Park
Wayne County: Sam Dale State Fish and Wildlife Area Trout Pond
Williamson County:  Devil’s Kitchen Lake

IDNR Updates Spring Wild Turkey Permit Application Process

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today announced updates to the process for hunters who wish to enter the lottery for Spring Wild Turkey permits. The new application procedure, adopted earlier this year, will streamline the lotteries for turkey hunters, making it easier to obtain all three of their permits online rather than a combination of online and over-the-counter.

“We hope this new process will be simpler and more straightforward for our hunters,” said Luke Garver, manager, Wild Turkey Project, IDNR. “Resident hunters can now apply in all three lotteries, whereas previously they would only be able to apply in the first and third. Hunters also will have the opportunity to get more permits for their favorite public land spots via the lottery.”

Changes to the lottery process include:
• First Lottery: Only resident hunters may apply for one turkey hunting permit. This excludes hunters who have received or will receive a landowner property-only hunting turkey permit for the spring season. Applications for First Lottery are accepted beginning Oct. 6 through Dec. 1.
• Second Lottery: All hunters are eligible to apply for one turkey hunting permit, but hunters who have not already been awarded a permit will receive preference. Applications are accepted through the first working day after Jan. 10.
• Third Lottery: All hunters are eligible to apply. Hunters may apply for up to three permits during this period, except that no one may exceed the limit of three permits in total for spring turkey hunting.  The three-permit total includes lottery-drawn, landowner, youth, and OTC permits. Applications are accepted through the first working day after Feb. 8.

For additional information on Wild Turkey Hunting in Illinois, visit

IDNR Announces State and Federal Sites Open for 2020 Youth Waterfowl Hunting Seasons

Youth hunt weekends precede start of regular waterfowl seasons in each zone

A number of Illinois state parks, fish and wildlife areas, conservation areas and recreation areas will be open to youth waterfowl hunting during the 2020 North Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunt, Central Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunt, South Central Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunt and South Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunt, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) announced today. Federal sites that fall under the IDNR waterfowl administrative rule that will be open for the youth hunts also are listed below. 

At most sites, regulations that apply during the regular waterfowl hunting season apply during the Youth Hunt. IDNR is taking steps to protect hunters and staff from the spread of COVID-19. Participants in the Youth Hunt are reminded to follow current public health directives, including maintaining social distancing guidelines, bringing with them masks in case social distancing cannot be maintained and hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol. Hunters should check for changes to site-specific regulations and procedures. During the Youth Hunt, the bag limits are the same as during regular seasons. 

As part of the Youth Hunt, hunters age 17 or younger may hunt ducks, geese, coots and mergansers as long as they are accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age. The accompanying adult cannot hunt these species but may participate in other open seasons. 

Youth hunters must have a Hunting License, Youth Hunting License, or Apprentice Hunting License. The youth hunter or his or her accompanying adult must have a valid FOID card. The supervising adult does not need to have a hunting license if they are not hunting other species. Youth hunters age 15 or younger are not required to have state or federal duck stamps, however youth hunters age 16 and older must have federal duck stamps even if they are using an Illinois Youth License. Hunters are not required to have an Illinois duck stamp unless they are age 18 or older (NOTE: this is a change from previous regulations). Although Illinois Youth Hunting Licenses are available for hunters up to age 18, federal waterfowl hunting regulations do not allow hunters over age 17 to participate in youth hunts.