The 2023 Illinois fall trout season will open Saturday, Oct. 21 at 59 ponds, lakes, and streams throughout the state, and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is warning anglers that warm weather will delay some early stockings this fall. Area locations are Mount Vernon Game Farm Pond in Jefferson County, and Boston Pond at Stephen A. Forbes State Recreation Area in Marion County.
The early catch-and-release season, scheduled to open Oct. 7 this year, will be stocked later than expected because of forecasted and observed warm water temperatures. Trout stocked in waters warmer than 70 degrees will experience high mortality. IDNR will stock the early catch-and-release sites as soon as water temperatures cool and will provide updates on the ifishillinois.org website and social media channels for ifishillinois.org and IDNR.
No trout may be taken from any of the stocked sites until the regular fall season opens at 5 a.m. Oct. 21. The daily catch limit is five trout.
All anglers, including those who participate in the early catch-and-release season, must have an Illinois fishing license and inland trout stamp, which are available at IDNR license and permit locations, including many bait shops, sporting goods stores, and other retail outlets. Check the IDNR website for locations. Fishing licenses and trout stamps can be purchased online with a credit card.
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 a.m. on opening day. Anglers are reminded to check the opening time of their favorite sites prior to the open date.
The fall trout season offers opportunities for families to get outdoors and enjoy fishing. Online resources are available for taking kids fishing.
IDNR reinstated its Catchable Trout Program in 1994. The program is funded in part by those who use the program through the sale of inland trout stamps. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources stocks more than 80,000 rainbow trout each year in bodies of water where trout fishing is permitted during the fall season. An additional 80,000 trout are stocked for the spring season, which begins each April. For more information on trout seasons and other Illinois fishing opportunities, visit https://www.ifishillinois.org.