Fishing

Fishing is permitted in all of the Forest Preserve District’s lakes, along the East and West branches of the DuPage River, Salt Creek, the Des Plaines River, and in the tributary creeks, unless otherwise posted.

Fishing on Forest Preserve District waters does not require a District permit or have an associated District fee. However, any angler who is 16 or older and not legally disabled must carry a valid Illinois sport fishing license.

For up-to-date fishing information call (630) 871-6422, or visit the Outdoor Report.

For a list of fish stocked in the forest preserve lakes and rivers, download the 2014 Fish Stocking Report. 

“Fishing in DuPage County” includes the information and maps on this web site as well as catch-and-release techniques, stocking reports, and updates on the District’s fisheries-management program. E-mail forest@dupageforest.org or call Visitor Services at (630) 933-7248 for a free printed copy, or download Fishing in DuPage County.

Purchase Illinois Sport Fishing Licenses, Inland Trout Stamps And Water Usage Stamps At The District

As of March 3, 2014, anglers can purchase Illinois sport fishing licenses, inland trout stamps and water usage stamps in person at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County’s headquarters office at 3S580 Naperville Road in Wheaton Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

These licenses are regulated and issued through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Valid sport fishing licenses are required for all anglers 16 or older who are not legally disabled when fishing on any public waters in Illinois, including lakes and rivers within DuPage County’s forest preserves. Annual licenses are $15 for Illinois residents. Inland trout stamps are $6.50 and are required to take rainbow trout, which are stocked in spring and fall at three District lakes. Water usage stamps are $6.50 and are required for nonmotorized boats, including canoes and kayaks, which can be launched on rivers and on three forest preserve lakes. Licenses for 2014 begin on April 1. For more information, call Visitor Services at 630-933-7248.

Although hunting and trapping are not permitted in any DuPage County forest preserve, the District will also sell the IDNR licenses for these outdoor activities as a service to customers.

Rainbow Trout Program

The District funds the stocking of rainbow trout in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. For more information, download the Spring 2014 Rainbow Trout Program Summary.

Fall trout season opens October 18, 2014. Anglers 16 and up must possess valid Illinois fishing licenses with inland trout stamps.

Zebra Mussels in DuPage County

The Forest Preserve District has confirmed the presence of zebra mussels in Deep Quarry Lake at West Branch Forest Preserve in Bartlett. Anglers should do their part to stop the spread of this nonnative, invasive species no matter where they fish.

  • Rinse and dry all fishing tackle that comes in contact with the water.
  • Empty all bait buckets in garbage cans or dumpsters before leaving the lake. Juvenile zebra mussels cannot be seen with the naked eye!
  • To learn more, visit Zebra Mussels.

Fish Advisory

The Illinois Department of Public Health has posted, for people in certain risk groups, a one-meal-per-week advisory for all sizes of carp caught in the East Branch and West Branch of the DuPage River and in Salt Creek. For additional information, call the IDPH at (217) 782-5830, or visit their Web site at www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/factsheets/fishadv.htm.

Forest Preserve District Lakes

Forest Preserve

Lake or Pond

Acres

Max  Depth 

Map 

Big Woods in Aurora

Poss Lake

9

10'

  

Blackwell in Warrenville

Silver Lake

62

35'

  

Blackwell in Warrenville

White Pine PondSand Pond

9
4

15'
15'

  

Cricket Creek in Addison

Green Lake

9

10'

  

Cricket Creek in Addison

Stonewort Pond
Riverbend Pond

3
5

9'
9'

  

Danada in Wheaton

Rice Lake

36

15'

  

East Branch in Glendale Heights

Rush Lake
Sunfish Pond

15
5

20'
25'

   

Hawk Hollow in Hanover Park

Muskrat Pond

4

25'

   

Herrick Lake in Wheaton

Herrick Lake

22

15'

   

Hidden Lake in Downers Grove

Eagle Lake
Round Meadow Lake

10
 15

20'
 16'

   

Mallard Lake in Hanover Park

Cloverdale Pond
Mallard Lake

9
85

17'
25'

   

Mayslake in Oak Brook

Mays Lake
Trinity Lake

8
3

7'
7'

   

McDowell Grove in Naperville        

Mud Lake

22

16'

   

Meacham Grove in Bloomingdale

Maple Lake

32

41'

   

Pratt’s Wayne Woods in Wayne

Catfish Pond
Horsetail Pond

5
3

16'
10' 

   

Pratt’s Wayne Woods in Wayne

Pickerel Lake

22

20'

  

Pratt’s Wayne Woods in Wayne

Harrier Lake

20

20'

  

Songbird Slough in Itasca

Songbird Lake

15

19'

  

Spring Creek Reservoir in  Bloomingdale

Spring Creek Reservoir

49

19'

  

Timber Ridge in West Chicago

Timber Lake

17

7'

   

West Branch in Bartlett

Bass Lake
Deep Quarry Lake

15
40

30'
45'

   

Wood Dale Grove in Wood Dale

Grove Lake

9

30'

   

Forest Preserve District River Access

Forest Preserve

Waterway

Access Route

Blackwell
in Warrenville

West Branch 
of the DuPage River

Mack Rd. 0.25 mile east of Rte. 59,
at end of parking area

Churchill Woods
in Glen Ellyn

East Branch 
of the DuPage River

St. Charles Rd. 0.25 mile west of Rte. 53, 75-yard walk on turf trail

Cricket Creek
in Addison 

Salt Creek

Fullerton Ave. 0.25 mile east of Villa Ave., 25-yard walk on turf trail

East Branch
in Glendale Heights 

East Branch 
of the DuPage River

Glen Ellyn Rd. south of Army Trail Rd., 0.25-mile walk on turf trail

Fullersburg Woods
in Oak Brook

Salt Creek

Spring Ave. 1 mile north of York Rd., 25-yard walk on paved trail

Greene Valley
in Naperville

East Branch 
of the DuPage River

Greene Rd. 1 mile north of 75th St., 
100-yard walk on turf trail

Hidden Lake
in Downers Grove

East Branch 
of the DuPage River

Rte. 53 0.25 mile south of Rte. 56, 
50-yard walk on turf trail

McDowell Grove
in Naperville

West Branch 
of the DuPage River

Raymond Dr. 0.5 mile south of Diehl Rd., adjacent to parking area

Pioneer Park
in Naperville

West Branch 
of the DuPage River

Washington Ave. 0.25 mile north of Hobson Rd., 50-yard walk on turf trail

Salt Creek Park
in Wood Dale

Salt Creek

Elizabeth Rd. at Addison Rd., 
65-yard walk on gravel trail

Warrenville Grove
in Warrenville

West Branch 
of the DuPage River

Batavia Rd. 1 mile south of Butterfield Rd., 25-yard walk on paved trail

West Branch
in Bartlett

West Branch 
of the DuPage River

Army Trail Rd. at Gerber Rd. in Bartlett, 125-yard walk west on gravel trail

West DuPage Woods in West Chicago

West Branch 
of the DuPage River

Rte. 59 north of Roosevelt Rd., 
200-yard walk on main gravel trail

Creel Regulations for District Lakes

Species

Daily Limit

Min Length

Largemouth or
smallmouth bass

3

15''

Channel or
flathead catfish

3 total

12''

Northern pike

3

24''

Walleye

3

16''

Crappie

15

9''

Muskie

1

48''

Rainbow trout

5

No min

Yellow or white bass or hybrids

No limit

No min

Site-Specific Creel Limits

Species

Forest
Preserve

Daily Limit

Min Length

Largemouth or smallmouth bass

East Branch, Hidden Lake, Mayslake, West Branch, Wood Dale Grove

1

18''

Yellow perch

West Branch (Deep Quarry Lake only)
Mallard Lake (Mallard Lake only)

4

10''

Creel Regulations for DuPage County Rivers

Species

Daily Limit

Min Length

Largemouth or smallmouth bass

3

15''

Channel or flathead catfish

3

12''

Crappie

15

9''

Northern pike

3

24''

Walleye

3

16''

Catch-and-Release Zones for Smallmouth Bass

West Branch
of the
DuPage River

From the Illinois Prairie Path Elgin Spur bridge at Timber Ridge Forest Preserve in West Chicago downstream to the Illinois Prairie Path Geneva Spur bridge at Winfield Mounds Forest Preserve in Winfield, including Klein Creek at Timber Ridge Forest Preserve

West Branch
of the
DuPage River

From the Warrenville Grove Forest Preserve dam in Warrenville downstream to the McDowell Grove Forest Preserve dam in Naperville

East Branch of the DuPage River

From the Butterfield Road (Rte. 56) bridge downstream through Hidden Lake Forest Preserve in Glen Ellyn to the Morton Arboretum boundary

Forest Preserve District Fishing Rules and Regulations

In general, fishing rules in the forest preserves are similar to Illinois state regulations. However, District rules may be more restrictive when necessary to sustain the long-term fisheries-management program.

  1. Any angler 16 or older who is not legally disabled is required to carry a valid Illinois sport fishing license when fishing. An Inland Trout Stamp is also required in order to take trout from District lakes.
  2. Federal and state regulations require that watercraft contain one well-fitting Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device for each member on board and that children under 13 wear PFDs when underway in recreational vessels. In addition, District regulations require that all individuals, regardless of age, must wear PFDs when in any canoes or kayaks.
  3. Fishing hours coincide with regular preserve hours — one hour after sunrise to one hour after sunset. Boats must leave the water at sunset. Night fishing is prohibited at all forest preserves with the exception of Deep Quarry Lake at West Branch Forest Preserve. Night fishing is allowed only from the shore on Deep Quarry Lake, but all anglers must be out of the preserve by 11 p.m.
  4. Each angler is permitted no more than two poles or tip-ups with no more than two hooks or lures attached to each.
  5. Anglers may use minnows, worms, insects, lures, wet flies, dough balls, or stink or blood bait. Anglers may not use amphibians, reptiles or crayfish as bait. Bait collection is not permitted in the forest preserves.
  6. When necessary, special regulations are imposed to improve the structure and abundance of the fish population. A minimum length limit means that fish measuring below a designated length must be released. A daily creel limit means that no more than a maximum number of a fish species may be taken daily. A closed season means that fish of a particular species may not be taken between specified dates. Site-specific regulations apply to certain areas only and are often more restrictive in order to preserve the population of a particular fish species.
  7. Fish may be released only into the same water where they were taken. Do not return minnows.
  8. Fishing with a net, seine or trap is unlawful as is taking a fish with bow and arrow, spear or slingshot.
  9. Unless otherwise noted, anglers may fish from shorelines, piers and boats and may wade in rivers and streams. Wading in lakes or ponds, swimming, and using rubber rafts or similar flotation devices are not allowed.
  10. Ice fishing is permitted on most forest preserve waters unless otherwise posted. Each angler is permitted no more than two ice fishing holes. Ice holes should be limited to 10 inches in diameter. Only portable shelters are permitted and must be removed when not in use. Ice conditions are not monitored by rangers, so ice fishing is done at an angler’s own risk. As a guideline, not a guarantee, a minimum of 4 inches of ice is recommended for fishing, skating and other ice activities. Anglers should note that ice may be safe in one spot yet very thin only a few feet away. River currents, underwater springs, animal activity or runoff from local roads can all create hard-to-detect areas of thin ice. Remember, no ice should be considered totally safe. 
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