Navigating Site-Specific Sportfishing Regulations

Introduction to Regulations

Anglers are presented with a comprehensive set of rules when they engage in sportfishing in various water bodies. These site-specific sportfishing regulations encompass a wide range of topics, including the permitted species - which can be fish, amphibians like bullfrogs, or reptiles such as common snapping turtles. Also included are the prescribed fishing methods and daily harvest limits for each water area, with corresponding numbered definitions for clarity. It's vital to note that in the absence of specific listings, statewide restrictions will apply.

Staying Informed

To keep abreast of any sudden regulatory changes, anglers are urged to regularly check bulletin boards at each fishing site. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) maintains a balance between offering free fishing opportunities and imposing necessary restrictions to ensure the sustainability of both the fishing experience and the aquatic resources.

Managing Fishing Pressure

With the rise in fishing activities and advancements in technology, there's a significant impact on fisheries resources. Fisheries managers tackle this by studying fish populations and angler harvest patterns, setting special regulations to prevent overharvest and maintain a healthy ecosystem.

Special Regulations

Understanding and adhering to special regulations is crucial:

  • Minimum Length Limit: Demands immediate release of undersized fish.
  • Protected Slot Length Limit: Requires prompt release of fish within a certain length range.
  • Daily Harvest Limit: Sets a maximum number of fish that can be harvested daily, applicable to one or multiple species.
  • Two Pole and Line Fishing Only: Restricts angling to two poles, each with limited hooks or lures, along with specific methods for bait collection and bullfrog harvesting.
  • Use of Various Devices: Without two-pole restrictions, a variety of devices can be used, subject to specific tagging and identification requirements.

Seasonal Restrictions and Area Specificity

Closed seasons are particularly important for managing fish populations, like rainbow trout, to ensure healthy stock levels and fair harvesting opportunities. Regulations are dictated by the water area's extent, not just by the county, and may extend beyond the listed counties in some cases.

Fishing Limits:

WATER AREA OWNERSHIP COUNTY FISH SPECIES REGULATION / HARVEST LIMIT
Palmissano Pond (Stern’s Park Quarry) Chicago Park District Cook All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Catch and Release Fishing Only (9)
All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1)
Palmyra – Modesto Water Commission Lake Palmyra/Modesto Water Commission Macoupin Large or Smallmouth Bass (14) . . . 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1)
Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Large or Smallmouth Bass. . . . . . . 15 inch Minimum Length Limit
Pana Lake City of Pana Shelby and Christian All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1)
Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Large or Smallmouth Bass. . . . . . . 14 inch Minimum Length Limit
Recreational Use Restrictions . . . . All live bait greater than 8 inch must be rigged with a quick set rig (43)
Pure Muskellunge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 inch Minimum Length Limit 1 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Paris East & West Lakes City of Paris Edgar All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1)
Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Large or Smallmouth Bass . . . . . . . 14 inch Minimum Length Limit
Patriot's Park Lake Kingsbury Park District Bond Large or Smallmouth Bass (14) . . . 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1)
Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Large or Smallmouth Bass . . . . . . . 15 inch Minimum Length Limit
Trout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fall Closed Season (10)
Peabody River King, Pit #3 Lakes and Ponds (see also Willow Lake for additional regulations) River King State Conservation Area St Clair Large or Smallmouth Bass (14) . . . 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1) (5)
Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Large or Smallmouth Bass . . . . . . . 15 inch Minimum Length Limit
White, Black, or Hybrid Crappie . . . . 9 inch Minimum Length Limit
White, Black, or Hybrid Crappie (15) . . . . 25 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Pecatonica River and Tributaries State of Illinois Winnebago/Stephenson Smallmouth Bass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 inch Minimum Length Limit
Perry Farm Pond Bourbonnais Park District Kankakee All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1)
Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Piasa State of Illinois Madison/Jersey Recreational Use Restriction . . . . . Waterfowl Refuge or Hunting Area (19)
Pierce Lake Rock Cut State Park Winnebago Large or Smallmouth Bass (14) . . . 1 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1) (7)
Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Large or Smallmouth Bass . . . . . . . 15 inch Minimum Length Limit
Pure Muskellunge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 inch Minimum Length Limit
Recreational Use Restriction . . . . . All live bait greater than 8 inches must be rigged with a quick set rig (43)
White, Black, or Hybrid Crappie (15) . . . . 25 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Pinckneyville Lake City of Pinckneyville Perry Large or Smallmouth Bass . . . . . . . 18 inch Minimum Length Limit
Large or Smallmouth Bass (14) . . . 1 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Pine Creek (within the boundaries of White Pines Forest State Park) State of Illinois Ogle All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1)
Smallmouth Bass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 inch Minimum Length Limit
Trout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fall Closed Season; Catch and Release Fishing is permitted (9) (10)
Trout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spring Closed Season; Catch and Release Fishing is permitted (9) (11)
Piscasaw Creek State of Illinois McHenry Smallmouth Bass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 inch Minimum Length Limit
Trout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spring Closed Season (11)
Pittsfield City Lake City of Pittsfield Pike All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1) (7)
Large or Smallmouth Bass . . . . . . . 14 inch Minimum Length Limit
Striped, White, or Hybrid Striped 17 inch Minimum Length Limit
Striped, White, or Hybrid Striped Bass (16) . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Pocahontas Park Ponds City of Pocahontas Bond All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1)
Largemouth Bass . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 inch Minimum Length Limit 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Ponderosa Lake Mazonia State Fish and Wildlife Area Kankakee Large or Smallmouth Bass (14) . . . 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1)
Bluegill or Redear Sunfish (14) . . . 10 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Large or Smallmouth Bass . . . . . . . 15 inch Minimum Length Limit
Recreational Use Restriction . . . . . Waterfowl Refuge or Hunting Area (33)
White, Black, or Hybrid Crappie (15) . . . . 10 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Powerton Lake Powerton Lake Fish and Wildlife Area Tazewell Large or Smallmouth Bass . . . . . . . 18 inch Minimum Length Limit
Large or Smallmouth Bass (14) . . . 1 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1)
Blue, Channel or Flathead Catfish . . . . . . . . . 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit, singly or in the aggregate, of which no more than 1 fish greater than or equal to 35 inches
Recreational Use Restriction . . . . . Powerton Lake shall be closed to boat traffic except for legal waterfowl hunters from one week prior to regular waterfowl season to February 15, and closed to all unauthorized entry
during regular Canada goose and duck season.
Recreational Use Restriction . . . . . Waterfowl Refuge or Hunting Area (39)
Striped, White, or Hybrid Striped Bass (16) . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Fish Daily Harvest Limit, singly or in the aggregate, of which no more than 3 fish greater than or equal to 17 inches (17)
Walleye, Sauger, or Hybrid Walleye . . . . . . . . . . 18 inch Minimum Length Limit
Walleye, Sauger, or Hybrid Walleye (14) . . . . . . . . . . 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Prospect Pond City of Moline Rock Island Trout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fall Closed Season (10)
Trout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spring Closed Season (11)
Pyramid State Park – Blue Wing Lake, Green Wing Lake and Goldeneye Lake and Mallard Lake Pyramid State Park Perry Large or Smallmouth Bass (14) . . . Protected Slot Length Limit with 1 Fish greater than or equal to 18 inches and/or 5 Fish less than 14 inches (38)
All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1) (5)
Bluegill or Redear Sunfish (14) . . . 25 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Pure Muskellunge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 inch Minimum Length Limit
Recreational Use Restriction . . . . . All live bait greater than 8 inches must be rigged with a quick set rig (43)
Recreational Use Restriction . . . . . Waterfowl Hunting Area (from November 1 through February 28/29 fishing is permitted in designated areas only, and fishing hours are from one half hour before sunrise to 2 p.m.).
White, Black, or Hybrid Crappie (15) . . . . 25 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Pyramid State Park – Captain, Denmark, Galum and East Conant Areas – All Lakes and Ponds except Blue Wing Lake, Green Wing Lake, Goldeneye Lake and Mallard Lake Pyramid State Park Perry Large or Smallmouth Bass (14) . . . Protected Slot Length Limit with 1 Fish greater than or equal to 18 inches and/or 5 Fish less than 14 inches (38)
All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1) (5)
Bluegill or Redear Sunfish (14) . . . 25 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Pure Muskellunge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 inch Minimum Length Limit
Recreational Use Restriction . . . . . All live bait greater than 8 inches must be rigged with a quick set rig (43)
Recreational Use Restriction . . . . . Waterfowl Hunting Area (from November 1 through February 28/29 fishing is permitted in designated areas only, and fishing hours are from one half hour before sunrise to 2 p.m.).
White, Black, or Hybrid Crappie (15) . . . . 25 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Pyramid State Park Lakes & Ponds (excluding Captain, Denmark, Galum and East Conant Areas) Pyramid State Park Perry Large or Smallmouth Bass (14) . . . Protected Slot Length Limit with only 1 Fish greater than or equal to 18 inches and/or 5 Fish less than 14 inches (38)
All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1)
Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Raccoon Lake City of Centralia Marion Large or Smallmouth Bass. . . . . . . 15 inch Minimum Length Limit
All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1)
Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Ramsey Lake Ramsey Lake State Park Fayette All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1)
Bluegill or Redear Sunfish (14) . . . 25 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Large or Smallmouth Bass. . . . . . . 14 inch Minimum Length Limit
White, Black, or Hybrid Crappie . . . . 9 inch Minimum Length Limit
White, Black, or Hybrid Crappie (15) . . . . 10 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Ramsey Lake State Park Ponds Ramsey Lake State Park Fayette All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1)
Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Large or Smallmouth Bass. . . . . . . 14 inch Minimum Length Limit
Randolph County Lake Randolph County Conservation Area Randolph Large or Smallmouth Bass (14) . . . 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1)
Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Large or Smallmouth Bass. . . . . . . 14 inch Minimum Length Limit
Trout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fall Closed Season (10)
Red Hills Lake Red Hills State Park Lawrence All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1)
Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Large or Smallmouth Bass. . . . . . . 15 inch Minimum Length Limit
Red’s Landing Wildlife Management Area State of Illinois Calhoun Recreational Use Restrictions . . . . (Access to walk-in area closed 7 days prior to duck season)
Recreational Use Restrictions . . . . . Waterfowl Refuge or Hunting Area (19)
Redwing Slough/Deer Lake State of Illinois Lake Recreational Use Restrictions . . . . . Waterfowl Refuge or Hunting Area (33)
Rend Lake U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Franklin and Jefferson Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . All jugs must be attended at all times while fishing (2)
Large or Smallmouth Bass . . . . . . . 14 inch Minimum Length Limit
Recreational Use Restriction . . . . . Waterfowl Refuge or Hunting Area (22) (33)
Striped, White, Yellow, or Hybrid Striped Bass (8) . . . . . . 20 Fish Daily Harvest Limit, singly or in the aggregate, of which no more than 3 Fish greater than or equal to 17 inches
White, Black, or Hybrid Crappie (15) . . . . 25 Fish Daily Harvest Limit with no more than10 Fish greater than or equal to 10 inches
Rend Lake Project Ponds – Jackie Branch Pond, Ina N. Borrow Pit, Green Heron Pond, North Marcum Campground Pond U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Franklin and Jefferson Large or Smallmouth Bass (14) . . . 1 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1)
Bluegill or Redear Sunfish (14) . . . 10 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Large or Smallmouth Bass . . . . . . . 14 inch Minimum Length Limit
Rice Lake Fish and Wildlife Area State of Illinois Fulton Recreational Use Restriction . . . . . Waterfowl Refuge or Hunting Area (33)
Large or Smallmouth Bass . . . . . . . 12 inch Minimum Length Limit
Large or Smallmouth Bass . . . . . . . 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Ridge Lake Fox Ridge State Park Coles All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1)
Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 inch Minimum Length Limit
Large or Smallmouth Bass . . . . . . . 14 inch Minimum Length Limit
Riis Park Lagoon Chicago Park District Cook All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1)
Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Riprap Landing State of Illinois Calhoun Recreational Use Restriction . . . . . Waterfowl Refuge or Hunting Area (19)
River Bend Forest Preserve Lakes (Sunset Lake and Shadow Lake) Champaign County Forest Preserve District Champaign All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1)
Bluegill or Redear Sunfish (14) . . . 15 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Large or Smallmouth Bass . . . . . . . Protected Length Limit with no more than
White, Black, or Hybrid Crappie . . . . 9 inch Minimum Length Limit
White, Black, or Hybrid Crappie (15) . . . . 10 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Riverside Park Lagoon Moline Park District Rock Island All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1)
Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Rochester Park Pond City of Rochester Sangamon Large or Smallmouth Bass (14) . . . 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1)
Bluegill or Redear Sunfish (14) . . . 10 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Large or Smallmouth Bass . . . . . . . 15 inch Minimum Length Limit
Rock Creek State of Illinois Kankakee All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1)
Trout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fall Closed Season; Catch and Release Fishing is permitted (9) (10)
Trout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spring Closed Season; Catch and Release Fishing is permitted (9) (11)
Rock River, from the Sears and Steel Dam downstream to confluence of the Mississippi River State of Illinois Rock Island Walleye. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 inch Minimum Length Limit with a 20-27 inch Protected Slot Length Limit (24)
Walleye and Sauger (14) . . . . . . . 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit with no more than 1 walleye greater than or equal to 27 inches in total length
Rock River, Wisconsin State Line downstream to confluence of the Mississippi River, including tributaries State of Illinois Multiple Smallmouth Bass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 inch Minimum Length Limit
Rock Springs Bike Trail Pond Macon County Conservation District Macon Large or Smallmouth Bass (14) . . . 1 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1)
Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Large or Smallmouth Bass . . . . . . . 15 inch Minimum Length Limit
Rock Springs Pond Macon County Conservation District Macon Large or Smallmouth Bass (14) . . . 1 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1)
Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Large or Smallmouth Bass . . . . . . . 15 inch Minimum Length Limit
Trout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fall Closed Season (10)
Roodhouse Park Lake City of Roodhouse Green All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1)
Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Route 154 Day Use Pond State of Illinois Randolph Large or Smallmouth Bass (14) . . . 1 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1)
Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Large or Smallmouth Bass . . . . . . . 15 inch Minimum Length Limit
Route 6 Quarries (Rock Run Rookery Preserve) Will County Forest Preserve District Will Large or Smallmouth Bass . . . . . . . 18 inch Minimum Length Limit
Large or Smallmouth Bass (14) . . . 1 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
All Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pole and Line Fishing Only (1)
Bluegill or Redear Sunfish (14) . . . 15 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
Channel Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit

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The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.