Illinois 2018 Fishing Licenses Go On Sale March 1

Illinois — The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says state fishing licenses for the year go on sale March 1. A resident sport fishing license may be obtained by anyone who has been a resident of Illinois 30 days prior to purchase.

Sport fishermen under 16 years of age, and persons declared legally disabled or blind, may fish without a license.

Owners or tenants (if they reside on the land) may fish in waters on or flowing over their lands without a license.

This exemption does not apply to club and organizational lakes or lake developments.

The agency says 2018 annual fishing licenses for Illinois residents cost $15 and are good until March 31, 2019.

One of the highlights each year is Illinois Free Fishing Days, which are scheduled for the Father’s Day weekend in June – with the dates of Friday, June 15 through Monday, June 18. Free Fishing Days provide an opportunity for novice anglers and families to go fishing even if they have not yet purchased a fishing license.

Non-residents of Illinois may purchase sport fishing licenses to fish waters of the state. Non-resident sport fishermen under 16 years of age may fish without a license. All other non-resident sport fishermen must purchase sport fishing licenses before fishing in Illinois (except in licensed fee fishing areas or on boundary rivers). Resident or non-resident sport fishermen who fish at fee fishing areas licensed by the Department of Natural Resources are not required to have a license

Discounted licenses are available for those age 65 and older and qualifying resident veterans.

Internet Purchases and Current Fees: 

To purchase fishing and hunting licenses and stamps over the Internet, please visit the Department’s Home Page at:

For more information you can visit this PDF here.


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