SPRINGFIELD – Lake Mendota is one of the sites for fishermen to congregate when the 2018 Illinois Spring Trout fishing season opens on Saturday, April 7. Anglers will need both a fishing license and an Inland Trout Stamp to participate, unless they are under the age of 16, blind, disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from active duty in the Armed Forces.
Licenses and trout stamps are available for purchase on the Illinois Department of Resources (IDNR) website and at DNR Direct license and permit locations, including many bait shops, sporting goods stores and other retail outlets.
The Spring Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing season opens at nine sites on Saturday, March 24. Anglers can use fly fishing gear to catch trout at that time, but they cannot keep the fish. All trout must be released until after the opening of the regular spring trout season, which begins at 5 a.m. on April 7. Anyone attempting to take trout before the legal harvest season opening will be issued citations.
The IDNR stocks more than 80,000 rainbow trout each year, with 54 ponds, lakes and streams throughout the state being stocked for the spring season, and an additional 80,000 trout stocked for the fall season.
No trout may be taken from any of the stocked sites from March 15 until the Spring trout season opens at 5 a.m. on April 7.
For more information on trout seasons and other Illinois fishing opportunities, check the website at www.ifishillinois.org.
For more 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 opening date.
Among the Spring Trout fishing locations in the northern zone are: