Spring Inland Trout Fishing

Spring Inland Trout Fishing
Photo courtesy Oak Lawn High School Spartan Fishing Club.

Saturday, April 5 will be the big day for the inland trout fishing opener.  Although lakes and ponds all around Illinois will open that day, many Chicago anglers will enjoy the lakes here in Cook County that offer trout fishing.

Keeper sized trout, being a bout a half to three quarters of a pond will be stocked in Axhead, Belleau, Horsetail and Green Lakes.  All are in the Cook County Forest Preserve District.

To give the stocked fish a chance to get used to the ponds where they will be stocked, trout fishing at these lakes (or having any trout in your possession) will be illegal from now until 5 AM on April 5th.  All fishing will be close from March 31st until dawn on April 5th.

Many who've enjoy trout fishing on the south side enjoyed going to Sag Quarry East.  Our tough winter with a lot of snow and cold conditions at this lake are not the best.  Weeds and algae which provide oxygen to the water die off when there is no light penetration into the lake.   Horsetail is a deeper lake and typically deep water ponds survive the winter much better.

The limit is five trout per day creel limit with no size restrictions.  Anglers can use no more than two lines per with no more than two hooks per line. A valid Illinois sport fishing license with an Inland Trout Stamp is required for anglers 16 years of age and older. All other rules on possessing a licnese and exemptions apply.

Here's some numbers on the FPD Lakes:

  • 1,250 pounds of rainbow trout for Axehead Lake
  • 1,250 pounds of rainbow trout for Belleau Lake
  • 500 pounds of rainbow trout for Horsetail Lake
  • 700 pounds of rainbow trout for Green Lake ( these are part of the Statewide stocking by the IL DNR.

For more information you can call the  Forest Preserves of Cook County’s Department of Resource Management, Fisheries Section at 708-403-6951.  Fishing guides can be found online at www.fpdcc.com/fishingguide.

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