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Fishing   Fishing

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Fishing

Fishing opportunities are available in the Will County forest preserves free of charge.

Fishing Regulations

Fishing is allowed year-round, weather permitting. Ice fishing is not allowed. Only line fishing is permitted. Anglers may use a maximum of two poles, with no more than two hooks or lures attached to each. Taking frogs, turtles, and mussels is prohibited.

Swimming, wading, and float tubes are prohibited. Persons must be entirely secured in watercraft.

All statewide fishing regulations apply, including daily creel and size limits. Illinois fishing licenses are required for everyone 16 years or older who fishes on a public waterway, and may be purchased at the Monee Reservoir Visitor Center. All statewide fishing regulations apply, and may be obtained from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Additional regulations apply. For more information, download the District's General Use Ordinance No. 124 or call 815.727.8700.

Fishing Programs and Events

The Forest Preserve offers a number of fishing programs during the year, including workshops and contests. Check the Event Calendar for upcoming fishing programs.

Fishing Locations

The Forest Preserve's premier fishing locations include:

Monee Reservoir: This preserve, located in Monee, features a 46-acre lake that is stocked with bluegill, black crappie, largemouth bass, and channel catfish. Catch and release fishing is encouraged, but daily limits are:

Type of FishDaily Limit
Minimum Size
Channel Catfish6None
Largemouth Bass115 inches or larger
Northern Pike
3
24 inches or larger
White Black, or Hybrid Crappie*15None
*The daily limit applies to the combination of these fish species. Anglers may take up to 15 white, black, or hybrid crappie, not 15 of each.

The preserve also features a Visitor Center that offers fishing poles, rowboats, and trolling motors for rental. (Learn more about boating in the forest preserves.) Bait and tackle are available for purchase from the Visitor Center. Minnows must be purchased from the Visitor Center. The use of amphibians, reptiles, and crayfish is prohibited. Check current fishing conditions at Monee Reservoir by calling 708.534.8499.

Download a Monee Reservoir map with lake depth information.

Whalon Lake: This preserve, located in Naperville, features an 80-acre lake that is stocked with bluegill, black crappie, largemouth bass, channel catfish, and walleye. Catch and release fishing is encouraged, but daily limits are:

Type of FishDaily Limit
Minimum Size
Bluegill or Redear Sunfish*
15None
Channel Catfish3
None
Large or Smallmouth Bass*
1
18 inches or larger
Walleye
6
14 inches or larger
*The daily limit applies to the combination of these fish species. Anglers may take up to 15 bluegill or redear sunfish, not 15 of each, and anglers may take one largemouth bass or one smallmouth bass, not both.

A boat launch allows for the entry of small fishing boats (trolling motors only). (Learn more about boating in the forest preserves.)

Download a Whalon Lake preserve map with lake depth information.

Rock Run Rookery Preserve: This preserve, located in Joliet, features two lakes. At the small west lake, catch and release fishing is required. At the large east lake, catch and release fishing is encouraged, but daily limits are:

Type of FishDaily Limit
Minimum Size
Bluegill or Redear Sunfish*
15None
Channel Catfish3
None
Large or Smallmouth Bass*
1
18 inches or larger
Sauger or Walleye*
6
14 inches or larger
*The daily limit applies to the combination of these fish species. Anglers may take up to 15 bluegill or redear sunfish, not 15 of each; anglers may take one largemouth bass or one smallmouth bass, not both; and anglers may take up to 6 sauger or walleye, not 6 of each.

At the large east lake, a boat launch allows for the entry of small fishing boats (trolling motors only). (Learn more about boating in the forest preserves.)

Download a Rock Run Rookery Preserve map with lake depth information.

Lake Chaminwood Preserve: This preserve, located in Minooka, features two lakes. Catch and release fishing is encouraged, but daily limits are:

Type of FishDaily Limit
Minimum Size
Bluegill or Redear Sunfish*
15None
Channel Catfish3
None
Large or Smallmouth Bass*
1
18 inches or larger
*The daily limit applies to the combination of these fish species. Anglers may take up to 15 bluegill or redear sunfish, not 15 of each, and anglers may take one largemouth bass or one smallmouth bass, not both.

Small fishing boats are allowed (trolling motors only), but only watercraft that can be carried on top of a vehicle is permitted. There is no boat trailer parking at the preserve. (Learn more about boating in the forest preserves.)

Lake Renwick Preserve - Turtle Lake Access: This preserve, located in Plainfield, provides access to Turtle and Budde Lakes for shoreline fishing. Fishing is restricted to posted areas to protect the breeding and foraging habitat for birds at the nearby Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Nature Preserve. Catch and release fishing is encouraged, but daily limits are:

Type of FishDaily Limit
Minimum Size
Bluegill or Redear Sunfish*
15None
Channel Catfish3None
Large or Smallmouth Bass*118 inches or larger
*The daily limit applies to the combination of these fish species. Anglers may take up to 15 bluegill or redear sunfish, not 15 of each, and anglers may take one largemouth bass or one smallmouth bass, not both.

View a full listing of preserves and water bodies at which fishing is permitted.

Photograph Courtesy of Ron Molk

Activity Fees
Fishing License
A fishing license is required for anyone at least 16 years of age who fishes a public Illinois waterway, and may be purchased from Monee Reservoir or the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Resident: $5.50/day, $15/year
Non-Resident: $5.50/day, $31.50/year (Out-of-State)
Fishing License (Senior Citizen)
The Senior Citizen fishing license is for applicants who are age 65 or older and are Illinois residents. A fishing license is required for anyone at least 16 years of age who fishes a public Illinois waterway, and may be purchased from Monee Reservoir or the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Activity Fee: $5.50/day, $7.75/year (Illinois Residents Only)
Fishing Pole Rental
Fishing poles are available for rental at Monee Reservoir. A $10 cash deposit is required for rental. Renters must be 18 years old and bring a valid driver's license or state ID. Fishing poles must be returned by 7:00 p.m., or a $5 late fee will be charged.
Activity Fee: $5/day
View All Activity Fees
You can enjoy this activity at the following locations:

Preserves
Centennial Trail/I&M Canal Trail (Romeoville/Lockport/Joliet)
Colvin Grove Preserve (Joliet)
Evans-Judge Preserve (Wilmington)
Forked Creek Preserve - Forsythe Woods (Wilmington)
Hammel Woods - DuPage River Access (Shorewood)
Hammel Woods - Route 59 Access (Shorewood)
Hickory Creek Preserve - LaPorte Road Access (Mokena)
Hunters Woods (Frankfort)
Isle a la Cache (Romeoville)
Lake Chaminwood Preserve (Minooka)
Lake Renwick Preserve - Turtle Lake Access (Plainfield)
Laughton Preserve (Manhattan)
McKinley Woods - Frederick's Grove (Channahon)
McKinley Woods - Kerry Sheridan Grove (Channahon)
Messenger Marsh (Homer Glen)
Monee Reservoir (Monee)
Riverview Farmstead Preserve (Naperville)
Rock Run Preserve - Black Road Access (Joliet)
Rock Run Rookery Preserve (Joliet)
Whalon Lake (Naperville)
Visitor Centers
Monee Reservoir Visitor Center (Monee)
 
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17540 W. Laraway Road, Joliet, IL 60433
815.727.8700 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Weekdays
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