2019 Illinois Trout & Chicago Area Trout Fishing Spots

Early Catch-and-Release Opportunity Opens October 5 at select sites*

The 2019 Illinois Fall Trout Fishing Season opens Saturday, Oct. 19 at 56 ponds, lakes, and streams throughout the state.

An early opportunity at select trout sites – the Fall Catch-and-Release Fishing Season – will open Oct. 5 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. 19. 

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

The IDNR has added one new site for Fall Trout Fishing in 2019 – Kaufman Lake in Champaign – maintaining the stocking of rainbow trout to 67,000 fish in the fall season. Rock Springs Pond in Decatur will be temporarily removed from stocking due to a maintenance project at that site.

No trout may be taken from any of the stocked sites from October 1st until the fall trout season opens at 5 a.m. on October 19, 2019. 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 October 19 — 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. 

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:  http://dnr.illinois.gov/DNRDirectMonitor/VendorListing.aspx .

Fishing licenses and trout stamps can also be purchased by using a credit card through DNR Direct online via the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov, or by calling DNR Direct toll-free at 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648). 

NOTE: Not all fall trout 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 about all site regulations, anglers should contact individual sites that will be stocked with catchable-size trout. 

The 57 locations that will be open for Fall Trout Fishing Season are listed below:

2019 Illinois Fall Trout Locations

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

North – Chicago Trout Fishing Spots (North Region)

  • Bureau County: Hennepin Canal Parkway 
  • Cook County: Axehead Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District
  • Cook County: Belleau, Cook County Forest Preserve District
  • Cook County: Busse Woods North, Cook County Forest Preserve District
  • Cook County: Green Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District
  • Cook County: Wolf Lake, William W. Powers State Recreation Area, Chicago 
  • DuPage County: Silver Lake, DuPage County Forest Preserve District 
  • Jo Daviess County: Apple River, Apple River State Park *
  • Kankakee County: Bird Park Quarry in Kankakee 
  • Kankakee County: Rock Creek at Kankakee River State Park *
  • Kendall County: Big Lake at Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area 
  • Lake County: Banana Lake, Lake County Forest Preserve District 
  • Lake County: Sand Lake at Illinois Beach State Park 
  • LaSalle County: Illinois and Michigan Canal at Lock 14 Pool, LaSalle-Peru 
  • McHenry County: Spring Grove Hatchery Pond
  • Ogle County: Pine Creek, White Pines Forest State Park *
  • Rock Island County: Prospect Park, Moline 
  • 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 


  • Adams County: Siloam Springs State Park Lake *
  • Cass County: Gridley Lake at Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA *
  • Champaign County: Kaufman Lake, Champaign Park District (NEW for Fall 2019)
  • 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 *
  • Macoupin County: Beaver Dam Lake, Beaver Dam State Park
  • McDonough County: Argyle Lake, Argyle Lake State Park 
  • Morgan County: Morgan Lake at 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 
  • Vermilion County: Clear Lake, Kickapoo State Recreation Area 


  • 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, Edwardsville Park District 
  • Madison County: Highland Old City Lake 
  • Marion County: Boston Pond, Stephen A. Forbes State Recreation Area
  • 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 

Illinois Stocked Trout Fishing Tips

  • Early crowds on opening day morning can be large!
  • Car & Foot traffic can be snarled early with lines at many locations to get in the gate
  • Some locations can even fill up if you arrive a little late. You may have to wait your turn for an opening.
  • Windy days can be tough on those who are not great at casting.
  • Many lines in the water means that you may have to cast through a narrow chute.
  • Trout fishing crowds can be tough environment for small kids.
  • Trout can school up at times, meaning they may be in one or two corners of a lake. This may mean only one group of people is catching consistently.
  • You may want to fish in “shifts” on the first two days. Spots sometimes clear out at by 9 or 10 a.m. A second wave of spots opens up at this point making it good to go mid-day.
  • Trout days are the number one day for tickets and violations. Know your regulations and have your fishing license ready! Odds are you will be checked by DNR officers.
  • Don’t leave your line in the water and walk to the bathroom. This is a violation. 50-75 feet from your line means it is unattended and this is a ticket.
  • Most waters only allow 2 lines – check your local regulations. Also on opening weekend with crowds, it can be rude to try and fish more than one!
  • Live bait out-catches Gulp or Powerbait constantly. Trout hold onto live bait longer giving you more time to catch.
  • Trout can follow the wind. Fishing with the wind in your face sometimes guarantees you more fish! More oxygen and fish follow that wind so a little uncomfortable condition for you, might mean more fish also.

Trout Fishing Tackle Tips & Baits

  • Thin lines cast further and easier. For long casts without using a lot of power, a 10 foot float rod casts better than short, stubby rods. We like the Gapen 10 (best shore trout fishing rod)

Traffic getting in and to your spot