Spring trout fishing season set to begin
The 2017 Illinois spring trout fishing season is set to open Saturday, April 1, at 52 ponds, lakes and streams throughout the state.
Southern Illinois trout fishing locations include:
The Mount Vernon Game Farm Pond in Jefferson County.
The Ferne Clyffe State Park lake near Goreville in Johnson County.
Fairgrounds Pond at Fort Massac State Park in Metropolis in Massac County.
Derby Lake at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta in Randolph County.
A spring catch-and-release fly fishing-only season was available at nine sites beginning on March 18.
Fly fishing anglers could use fly fishing gear to catch and release trout beginning March 18 at the nine sites.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources, IDNR, noted that 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 1.
The Illinois catchable trout program is funded through the sale of inland trout stamps.
IDNR stocks more than 80,000 rainbow trout annually in bodies of water where trout fishing is permitted during the spring season, and 80,000 more for the fall season.
Trout cannot be taken from any of the stocked sites during the period which started March 15 until the spring trout season opens at 5 a.m. on April 1.
Anyone attempting to take 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 1, 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.
For more information about trout seasons 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, check the IDNR website at 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).
For information about all site regulations, anglers are advised to 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 sites prior to the opening date.