Illinois Fishing License – Everything You Need to Know

illinois fishing license

<br /> Illinois Fishing License: All You Need to Know<br />

Welcome to our comprehensive guide for obtaining an Illinois fishing licence. If you are an avid angler, or plan to go on a fishing adventure in the beautiful state Illinois, it is important to understand the rules and regulation surrounding fishing licenses. This article will give you a detailed overview of the Illinois fishing licence process, including requirements, fees and more.

Why do you need an Illinois fishing license?

Before we get into the details, let’s first understand why an Illinois fishing licence is required. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources requires that individuals hold a valid license in order to participate in recreational fishing on state waters. This regulation is important for the conservation and management fish populations. It also ensures sustainable fishing opportunities for future generation.

Types of Illinois fishing licenses

Illinois offers a variety of fishing licenses to suit different needs and preferences. There is a license that will suit you, whether you are an Illinois resident or non-resident who plans to fish in Illinois. Let’s look at the different types of fishing permits available.

1. Resident Fishing License

If you live in Illinois and plan to fish there, you can get a resident fishing permit. This license is valid for a year from the date it was purchased and allows you to fish on most public waters of Illinois, including rivers, lakes, and streams.

2. Non-Resident fishing license

Non-resident fishing licenses are required for individuals who live outside of Illinois, but still wish to fish the waters of Illinois. This license gives non-residents access to the same fishing privileges that residents have. It is valid for a year after the date of purchase.

3. Senior Resident Fishing Licence

Illinois offers a discounted license to senior citizens who reside in the state. You must be 65 or older to qualify for a senior fishing license. This license is valid for a year and allows seniors to fish in Illinois.

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4. One-Day Fishing License

The one-day license is a great option if you are a casual angler or only plan to fish for a day in Illinois. This license allows you to fish for one day starting on the date specified at purchase.

5. Sportsman’s License

The sportsman’s license is a great option for those who enjoy fishing and other outdoor activities, such as hunting. This license allows for fishing, hunting and trapping, making it an excellent choice for outdoor enthusiasts.

How to obtain an Illinois fishing license

Let’s now discuss how to obtain a fishing license in Illinois. Anglers can obtain their fishing licenses in a variety of ways.

1. Online Purchase

The IDNR’s portal is the most convenient and accessible method to obtain a fishing license in Illinois. Visit their official website and navigate to the section on fishing licenses. Follow the instructions step-by-step to complete your purchase. Be sure to have all the necessary information and payment details at hand.

2. In-person Purchase

If you would prefer a more personalized approach, you can purchase your fishing permit in person at a local IDNR vendor. This allows you to interact directly with the staff and clarify any doubts. You can also receive instant advice on hotspots for fishing.

3. Mail-In Application

Some individuals choose to apply by mail for their fishing license. You can download the IDNR license application form, complete it accurately, attach the required documents and fees and send it to a designated address. This method can take longer to process.

Requirements to obtain an Illinois fishing license

Be sure to meet all IDNR requirements before applying for a fishing license in Illinois. These requirements can vary depending on the type and status of the license. Let’s take a look at the basic requirements:

1. Residency Proof

You must provide proof of Illinois residence when applying for a resident’s fishing license. Acceptable documents include a valid Illinois license, state ID, or any other official government issued documents that confirms your Illinois residential address.

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2. Age Verification

Age verification is required for senior citizens who apply for a senior resident’s fishing license. You may be required to provide a copy of a birth certificate, valid identification card, or other documents that verify your age.

3. Social Security Number

The IDNR requires that applicants provide their social security numbers during the licensing process. This information is used to identify and track individuals.

4. Fishing Education

In some cases, an individual may be required to complete a course in fishing education or have a certificate from a course provider approved. This requirement is often applicable to those who are new to fishing or under a certain age limit.

Illinois Fishing License Fees

The IDNR determines the fees required to obtain an Illinois fishing permit. The license fees help to support conservation efforts and the management of fish populations in order to create a sustainable fishing environment. Here are the current fishing fees in Illinois.

1. Resident Fishing Licence Fees

Annual Fishing License: $15

– Senior Citizen Fishing License (65 years and older): $7.75

– Fishing License for 24 Hours: $5.50

2. Non-Resident Fishing license fees

Annual Fishing License – $31.50

– 24-Hour License for Fishing: $10.50

3. Fees for Sportsman’s Licence

– Annual Sportsman License: $25.50

– Senior Sportsman License (65 years and older): 13.00 dollars

License Renewal & Expiration

To avoid fishing without a valid fishing permit, it’s important to keep track of the expiration date of your fishing license. Illinois fishing licenses usually last for one year after the date of purchase. You can renew your license by following the above procedures for obtaining a brand new license.

Additional Fishing Regulations

It’s important to know the fishing regulations in Illinois. The IDNR enforces rules and restrictions that ensure responsible fishing and conservation. Some common regulations include

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1. Fishing seasons and bag limits

Illinois has established fishing seasons for a variety of fish species including bass, trout and walleye. Bag limits are also in place to limit the number of fish that can be harvested during a certain timeframe. To avoid violating any laws, it’s important to be familiar with the seasons and limits.

2. Special Fishing Areas

Certain areas in Illinois may have specific regulations, such a catch-and release only zones, trophy Bass waters, or restricted areas of fishing. Be sure to stay informed about the special fishing areas in Illinois and their regulations.

3. Fish Length Limitations

There may be a minimum or maximum size restriction for certain fish species. These restrictions are designed to protect juvenile fish, and ensure the sustainability their populations. Measure your catch to the regulations before releasing or keeping it.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need a fishing license in Illinois if I am under 16?

Illinois does not require a fishing license for those under 16 years old. Young anglers are still required to follow the fishing regulations, and if needed, be accompanied by a parent.

2. Can I fish in neighboring states with my Illinois fishing license

Illinois fishing licenses only allow you to fish in the waters of Illinois. If you intend to fish in neighboring states, you will need to obtain the appropriate fishing licence for that state.

3. Do you have any free fishing days in Illinois?

Yes, Illinois designates certain days as “Free Fishing Days.” Anglers are allowed to fish without a fishing license on these days. All other fishing regulations apply.


It is easy to obtain an Illinois fishing permit for anyone who wants to take advantage of the abundant fishing opportunities in Illinois. There are options for fishing licenses that suit residents and non-residents alike. Remember to read the rules and regulations and to fish responsibly to preserve Illinois’s fisheries.

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