Illinois outdoors: Updates on spring inland trout and spring turkey hunting

A couple updates come on Illinois’ spring inland trout season and spring turkey season.

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File photo of turkeys in a field near the Iroquois River in 2012. Credit: Dale Bowman

File photo of turkeys in a field near the Iroquois River in 2012.

Dale Bowman

Here is the latest from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources on spring inland trout season and spring turkey hunting seasons.

Remember, as of now, all IDNR properties are closed. Also, keep in mind these responses are from the IDNR side, so there may be some complicating issues from forest preserve districts or municipalities when it comes to trout fishing. The regular season is set to open on Aprill 4.

As far as I can tell, the only one of the nine sites listed is actually open for early catch-and-release trout. That would be Morgan Lake at Nichols Park in Jacksonville. The other eight are IDNR properties, which are closed.

The first statewide youth turkey season is this weekend.

Here is the response from IDNR spokesperson Rachel Torbert (bold questions are mine):

Will or did the stocking of rainbow trout go as usual? Via [fisheries chief] Mike McClelland:Trout will be stocked at all spring stocking locations as most of the stocking sites are not state park and recreational areas, but rather partnering city and county conservation and park districts. As you know, trout purchase for stocking is a result of inland trout stamp sales and the order of trout for spring season has already occurred, we want to be sure to get those trout to the water. And where non-IDNR sites, which are open, are stocked, will the season proceedon schedule? Spring trout season will continue at sites which are currently open to the public. Anglers are welcome to continue fishing during the stay at home order provided they have the appropriate licensing, are fishing at sites which are currently open to the public and are following public health directives, including staying AT LEAST six feet away from other sportsmen and women they encounter and staying home if they are exhibiting any symptoms. For more information on COVID-19, visitcoronavirus.illinois.gov. [Is the IDNR changing the status of the spring youth turkey hunt?] Similarly, youth turkey season will continue on private property and IRAP sites – again, sites which are currently open to the public. Hunters may continue to hunt during the stay at home order provided they have the appropriate licensing and permits, are hunting with permission of property owners and are following public health directives, including staying AT LEAST six feet away from other sportsmen and women they may encounter and staying home if they are exhibiting any symptoms. For more information on COVID-19, visit coronavirus.illinois.gov.

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