Fishing License in Illinois 2024

2024 Illinois Fishing License

To acquire an Illinois fishing license and trout stamp, anglers can do so conveniently through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) website or at authorized license vendors across the state. Residents and non-residents can purchase their fishing license online by visiting the IDNR website and selecting the appropriate permit type, which includes annual, multi-year, and short-term options.

Additionally, anglers targeting trout in Illinois waters must obtain a trout stamp, available as an add-on to the fishing license. The revenue generated from trout stamp sales goes directly toward supporting trout stocking programs and conservation efforts in the state.. By obtaining these permits, anglers can enjoy Illinois’s diverse fishing opportunities while contributing to the preservation and sustainability of its fisheries. Be sure to check the 2024 Illinois Fishing Information Guide for the most up-to-date fishing regulations, size and creel limits.


Annual Sporting*

Inland Trout Stamp**







*Licenses expire March 31 annually.

**Required for all waters except Lake Michigan.

Combination fishing and hunting licenses are also available for Illinois residents at an annual rate of $26.25. Resident veterans can also obtain annual fishing or combination fishing and hunting licenses. They can get them for half the price if they can provide the necessary documentation.

There are several exemptions for possessing an Illinois fishing license. Persons fishing in one of the Department of Natural Resources’ fee fishing waters do not need a license but do have to pay the required fee to fish.

Residents of Illinois who are blind, legally disabled, on active military duty or on leave from active duty, and owners of private water bodies fishing on their own land are exempt from holding an Illinois fishing license. Likewise, any non-residents fishing in rivers that border other states does not need an Illinois fishing license if they have a license for the other state the river borders.

Fishing License in Illinois Online

Illinois fishing licenses can be purchased through the Explore More IL website hosted by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. After you set up an account through their portal, you can purchase your fishing license right from there.

You will have the option of printing off a paper copy from your home computer to keep in your wallet when you go fishing or downloading a digital copy to keep on your phone.

Illinois Fishing License Age

All anglers over the age of fifteen, whether resident or non-resident, are required to possess a valid Illinois fishing license in order to fish in state waters.

Residents of IL who are between the ages of 65 and 74 can purchase an annual fishing license at a discounted rate of $7.75. Residents who are older than 74 years of age only have to pay $1.50 for an annual fishing license.

Illinois Fishing License Requirements

Unless otherwise exempt, all anglers fishing in Illinois waters must possess a valid Illinois fishing license issued by the Department of Natural Resources. The license may be a paper copy or a digital copy on your phone, but it must be on your person while you are fishing.

The Department of Natural Resources hosts free fishing days every year which do not require you to hold a license. Licenses can be purchased from the Department of Natural Resources or any approved vendor. Illinois fishing licenses go on sale beginning March 1 and all licenses expire on March 31 of the year after purchase.

Anglers fishing for trout need to purchase an additional trout stamp along with a regular fishing license. Commercial fishing licenses are also available for purchase by the Department of Natural Resources. A list of vendors that sell commercial fishing gear is available on their website as well.

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