The 2021 Illinois Fall Trout Fishing Season will open Saturday, Oct. 16 at 59 ponds, lakes and streams throughout the state.

An early opportunity at selected trout sites – the Fall Catch-and-Release Fishing Season – will open Oct. 2. No trout may be kept during the catch and release fishing period, but anglers can keep trout after the opening of the regular season beginning Oct. 16.

The Illinois Catchable Trout Program is funded 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 the 2021 fall trout season, no trout may be taken from any of the stocked sites until the season opens at 5 a.m. on Oct. 16. During the season, the daily catch limit is five trout.

The fall trout season offers opportunities for families to get outdoors and enjoy fishing. Resources are available for Taking Kids Fishing at

All anglers – including those who intend to release fish caught before October 16 – 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 at

Fishing licenses and trout stamps can be purchased by using a credit card online via the IDNR website at

Participants in the Fall Trout Fishing Season are reminded to follow current guidance from the CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health regarding face masks and social distancing.

For information about all site regulations, anglers should contact individual sites that will be stocked with catchable-size trout. Not all sites open at 5:00 a.m. on opening day. Anglers are reminded to check the opening time of their favorite sites prior to the open date.

For more information on trout seasons and other Illinois fishing opportunities, check the website at

Reaching the IDNR

Have you tried to reach the IDNR lately? I need to renew a boat registration and I’ve been to their site at least seven times and I find it a joke.

I am trying to register my boat on which the current registration runs out September 30th. They want my birthday and my Social Security number which I put in. When I click search, I get that my information can’t be found.

I’ve purchased hunting and fishing licenses for years along with boat registrations, using my birthday and Social Security number along with my driver’s license but they still can’t find me.

I tried to open a new account with them but what does it ask for; my birthday and Social Security, which again, they can’t find.

I tried calling and got a recording. I tried email and got no response after leaving my phone number.

The government can tell you how many people have Covid-19 every day; how many have died from it, and how many hospital beds are available in each hospital but the IDNR cannot find me, a person who has used their online system for years.

I guess the only recourse I have is to get a ticket because I’m sure not going to quit fishing.

Here’s my phone number IDNR, 217-260-6559 if anyone cares!

Sam Van Camp writes about the outdoors on Saturdays. Call him at 662-6559. Fax: 446-6648. E-mail:

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