There's an important reason for trout-fishing fans to follow all the right steps before taking part in Illinois Spring Trout Fishing Season, which begins at 5 a.m. Saturday, Apr. 7.
Ed Cross, of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, says that getting your fishing license (if required) and inland trout stamp not only keeps you legal; it’s also for a good cause.
“You are creating the money needed to provide this program each year," Cross said. "So that each year you participate, you’re making sure that that program will be around next year.”
IDNR has stocked sites throughout the state with rainbow trout you can fish for -- and keep -- starting Saturday morning.
Cross said the sites stocked with trout offer opportunities to do more than just fish.
“We’ve put them where people can also enjoy the scenic view," he said. "Or you can take a hike on some of the trails at these locations to try to make it an all-inclusive kind of day for your outdoor experience.”
Cross said people should enjoy their time fishing but also respect the rights of others doing the same and be good stewards of the sites they choose.
Anglers should take care to make the experience a safe and happy one, Cross said. Falling into the water can be just as much of a hazard on a sometimes-slippery shoreline as on a boat. He advises anglers bringing children to equip them with life jackets as a precaution.
The IDNR stocked 54 sites across the state with 80,000 trout. The department provides a complete list of locations, along with news and other information on fishing, online at ifishillinois.org.