The 2018 Illinois Fall Trout Fishing Season opens on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 57 ponds, lakes, and streams throughout the state.

The Fall Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing Season will be available at nine sites beginning on Oct. 6 at locations throughout the state.

Fly fishing anglers can use fly fishing gear to catch and release trout beginning Oct. 6 at the nine sites. No trout may be kept during the fly fishing period, but all anglers can keep trout after the opening of the regular fall trout season on Oct. 20.

The IDNR has added four new sites for Fall Trout Fishing in 2018, raising the stocking of rainbow trout to 67,000 fish in the fall season, and approximately that same number for the Spring season. The new 2018 Fall Trout Fishing sites are Bauman Lake in Cherry Valley, Casey Park Pond in Casey, Weldon Springs State Park Lake near Clinton, and Belk Park Pond in Edwardsville.

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. 20. 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. 20 — 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.

Once again, Clear Pond in Kickapoo State Park will be the only body of water stocked with trout in Vermilion County.

Hunters and trappers may apply for a 2018-19 Illinois Bobcat Hunting and Trapping Permit online through Sept. 30. Applicants must submit a $5 non-refundable fee. A total of 1,000 permits will be allocated during a lottery and mailed to successful applicants. Season dates are Nov. 10 through Feb. 15. The season will close prior to Feb. 15 if the 2018-19 harvest limit of 375 bobcats is reached. Bobcat hunting is closed during firearm deer season in counties open to firearm deer hunting. To apply for the permit, go to the DNR Direct license and permit system at https://www.il.wildlifelicense.com/start.php

Sam Van Camp writes about the outdoors on Sundays. Call him at 662-6559. Fax: 446-6648. E-mail: pamnsam@nwcable.net