Cook County FPD lakes will be closed prior to trout opener

The Forest Preserve District of Cook County has three trout fishing lakes that will be closed from April 1 through April 6 for stocking.

I've enjoyed fishing for catchable trout many times in the early spring as many experienced fishermen and novices alike.  Axehead and Belleau Lakes in Park Ridge and Sag Quarry-East in Lemont  will open for the 2013 inland trout season opens on Saturday, April 6.

From Monday, April 1 through dawn on Saturday, April 6, the three lakes will be closed to all fishing while the Districts stocks approximately 3,000 pounds of catchable-sized rainbow trout (1/2 – ¾ lbs. average). The closures will also allow the trout time to disperse throughout the lakes prior to re-opening.

Once fishing season opens on April 6, there is a five (5) trout per day creel limit with no size restrictions. No more than two (2) lines per person with no more than two (2) hooks per line may be used. A valid Illinois sport fishing license with an Inland Trout Stamp is required for anglers 16 years of age and older.  An Illinois sport fishing license is not required for Illinois residents who are disabled and have a State of Illinois disabled I.D. card showing a Class 2 or Class 2A disability or a Veterans Disability Card, and Illinois residents who are on active military duty and are home on leave.

For all anglers here in Illinois, March 31 is the expiration date of your current fishing license.  Get your new one online at the DNR website,  CLICK HERE

Axehead Lake is located in Park Ridge at Touhy Ave, east of River Rd. and the Tri-State Tollway (I-294). Belleau Lake is located in Park Ridge at Busse Highway, west of the Tri-State Tollway (I-294). Sag Quarry-East is located in Lemont at Route-83 and Archer Ave., at 111th St.

The free Forest Preserve Fishing Guide lists all of the lakes and waters open to public fishing within the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. The guide includes individual maps that show the location and depths of each lake, and list principal fish species. The guides are available at no cost at the District Headquarters in River Forest (536 N. Harlem) or at any of the six nature centers located throughout the County. They can also be downloaded online at

For those show have never fished for these trout before there are many good baits and the list is long. There is corn, cheese, prepared trout baits (Berkley makes many different ones from pre-made trout dough balls to dough baits), spinners,  night crawlers, minnows, Mini-Mites, and spoons.

These trout are nomadic so you'll find them in schools swimming around the lake.  You'll notice the catching action peak then die off the peak again as the fish move to and beyond the area you're fishing.  My hint to you is be mobile.  If you see a group of people catching fish, go to that area.  When it slacks off, look for people catching fish somewhere else and move again.   Be courteous though.  Don't crowd people, especially kids and be careful of casting so you don't cross lines of people still fishing.

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