Illinois hunting and fishing

Dan Stephenson, Illinois Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist stocks rainbow trout in the upper pond at Washington Park in Springfield. Photos by Chris Young.

Trout anglers can dream big this spring

March 29, 2012 at 07:41 PM

About 1,300 rainbow trout were released into the pond at Southwind Park Thursday morning, including six large fish over seven pounds - the biggest weighing almost 10 pounds.

It is the first time for trout fishing at Southwind. Previously, trout were stocked at the Illinois Department of Transportation Pond.

Dan Stephenson, a fisheries biologist with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, said the accessibility and amenities at Southwind made it a better choice.

Four hundred trout also were stocked in the upper pond at Washington Park.

Preschool children were on hand at Washington Park to touch the fish and watch Stephenson and Bob Wheeler from Crystal Lake Fisheries of Ava, Mo. move trout to the water.

Those hoping to hit the rainbow trout lottery are advised to wait until the season legally opens at 5 a.m. April 7.

Taking rainbow trout before then could result in a ticket being issued.

Anglers are required to have a fishing license and inland trout stamp.

DNR stocks about 60,000 trout statewide. The fish are purchased with the proceeds of inland trout stamp sales.

Illinois hunting and fishing
Preschoolers line up to touch a fish Thursday morning at Washington Park.