New this fall will be catch-and-release fly fishing at a handful of sites beginning Oct. 4. Fly fishing anglers can use their gear to catch and release trout on selected sites
SPRINGFIELD — The 2014 Illinois fall trout fishing season opens Saturday, Oct. 18, at 50 ponds, lakes and streams throughout the state.
New this fall will be catch-and-release fly fishing at a handful of sites beginning Oct. 4. Fly fishing anglers can use their gear to catch and release trout on selected sites available here. No trout may be kept during this period. Fly fishing anglers can keep trout after the opening of the regular season beginning Oct. 18. Waters noted with a (**) are open for early fly fishing.
“The fall trout fishing season is an enjoyable family tradition that is expanded this year with fly fishing at selected locations,” Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller said. “Catch-and-release fishing will help extend the season and provide more opportunity for more people this fall.”
The catchable trout program is funded entirely by those who use the program through the sale of inland trout stamps. Approximately 80,000 trout are stocked by IDNR at the locations listed below just prior to the opening of the fall trout season.
No trout may be taken from any of the stocked sites from Oct. 1 until the fall trout season opens at 5 a.m. on Oct. 18. 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 Oct. 18 — must have a fishing license and an inland trout stamp, unless they are younger than 16, blind or disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from active military duty. 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 fall trout season and other Illinois fishing opportunities, check the website at www.ifishillinois.org.
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 also can 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 (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.
Area trout-fishing sites include:
Highland Old City Lake
St. Clair County
Frank Holten State Park, Main Lake
Jones Park Lake, East St. Louis
Willow Lake, Peabody River King State Fish and Wildlife Area