Fishing is a popular outdoor activity in Illinois, attracting thousands of anglers every year. To legally fish in the state, you need to obtain an Illinois fishing license. In this article, we’ll cover all the essential information you need to know about the Illinois fishing license.

Types of Illinois Fishing Licenses

Illinois offers several types of fishing licenses, including:

  1. Resident sport fishing license
  2. Non-resident sport fishing license
  3. Senior resident sport fishing license
  4. Disability sport fishing license
  5. One-day sport fishing license
  6. Three-year sport fishing license

The fees for each type of license vary depending on the age and residency status of the applicant. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) issues fishing licenses through their website, local vendors, and IDNR offices.

Resident Sport Fishing License

The Resident Sport Fishing License is available to Illinois residents who have lived in the state for at least 30 days. The license is valid for one year from the date of purchase. The fee for a resident sport fishing license is $15.

Non-Resident Sport Fishing License

Non-residents can also obtain a sport fishing license to fish in Illinois. The non-resident sport fishing license is valid for one year from the date of purchase and costs $31.50.

Senior Resident Sport Fishing License

The Senior Resident Sport Fishing License is available to Illinois residents aged 65 and older. The license is valid for one year from the date of purchase and costs $7.75.

Disability Sport Fishing License

Illinois residents with disabilities are eligible to apply for a disability sport fishing license. The license is valid for one year from the date of purchase and costs $1.

One-Day Sport Fishing License

Anglers who are not regular fishers can obtain a one-day sport fishing license. The one-day license allows the angler to fish on the day of purchase only and costs $5.50.

Three-Year Sport Fishing License

The Three-Year Sport Fishing License is available to Illinois residents only and is valid for three years from the date of purchase. The license costs $45.

Where to Buy an Illinois Fishing License

Illinois fishing licenses can be purchased in three ways:

  1. Online through the IDNR website
  2. At a local vendor such as a sporting goods store or fishing outfitter
  3. At an IDNR office

When purchasing a fishing license online, the angler will receive an electronic copy of the license that can be printed or stored on their smartphone. If purchasing a license in person, the angler will receive a paper copy of their license.

Regulations and Restrictions

Illinois has specific regulations and restrictions for fishing, such as bag limits and size limits on certain fish species. Anglers should familiarize themselves with these regulations before heading out onto the water. Violating regulations can result in fines and other penalties.


Obtaining an Illinois fishing license is a simple process that can be done online or in person. The type of license an angler needs will depend on their residency status, age, and other factors. Understanding the regulations and restrictions for fishing in Illinois is essential for a successful and legal fishing trip. So, if you’re planning a fishing trip in Illinois, make sure to obtain the right license and follow all the regulations. Happy fishing!

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Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is for general informational purposes only. We strive to provide accurate and up-to-date content, but we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability of the information contained on this blog. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. The blog owner and authors will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. We recommend consulting professional advice or conducting your own research for specific fishing techniques, regulations, safety guidelines, and any other related information. Fishing activities involve certain risks, and it is important to exercise caution and adhere to local laws and regulations while engaging in fishing activities. By using this blog, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless the blog owner and authors from any and all claims, liabilities, or damages arising out of your use of the information provided.

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