Latest News


Mar 28, 2014

Forest Preserves of Cook County’s trout fishing lakes
will be closed to all fishing March 31 – April 4 


The Forest Preserves of Cook County is pleased to announce that the spring inland trout fishing season starts at dawn on Saturday, April 5.


Catchable-sized rainbow trout (1/2 –3/4 lbs average) will be stocked into Axehead Lake, Belleau Lake, Horsetail Lake, and, new this year, Green Lake.


As part of the stocking process, from March 15 until 5 am on April 5, fishing for and possession of any trout is illegal. In addition, the trout lakes will be closed to all fishing from Monday, March 31, until dawn on April 5. The lake closings allow the trout to disperse throughout the lakes prior to opening.


Because of unfavorable lake conditions caused by the extreme winter cold and snow, the Forest Preserves will not be stocking Sag Quarry–East as usual. Staff will instead stock deeper Horsetail Lake. (Severe, long winters can naturally create anaerobic conditions that result in “winter fish kills,” particularly in shallower waterbodies. Fisheries staff are monitoring the situation as the ice melts over the next weeks. Learn more here.)


Once the season opens, there is a five trout per day creel limit with no size restrictions. No more than two lines per person with no more than two hooks per line may be used. A valid Illinois sport fishing license with an Inland Trout Stamp is required for anglers 16 years of age and older. An Illinois sport fishing license is not required for Illinois residents who are disabled and have a State of Illinois disabled I.D. card showing a Class 2 or 2A disability or a Veterans Disability Card, and Illinois residents who are on active military duty and are home on leave.


The Forest Preserves will be purchasing and stocking approximately 1,250 pounds of rainbow trout for Axehead Lake; 1,250 pounds of rainbow trout for Belleau Lake; and 500 pounds of rainbow trout for Horsetail Lake; while the Illinois Department of Natural Resources will be purchasing approximately 700 pounds of rainbow trout for Green Lake. The Forest Preserve Fishing Guide lists all of the lakes and waters open to public fishing within the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The guide includes maps that show the location and depths of each lake, and list principal fish species. The guides are available at


The public can contact the Forest Preserves of Cook County’s Department of Resource Management, Fisheries Section at 708-403-6951 with any questions or for further information.

# # #

About the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Established in 1914, the Forest Preserves of Cook County is the oldest and one of the largest forest preserve systems in the nation, maintaining more than 68,000 acres of open land for the education, pleasure and recreation of the public. The District strives to protect and restore the county’s diverse ecosystems, so all our unique native plants and animals can live and thrive. Each year, millions of people use these lands and facilities to enjoy or study nature, bicycle, hike, fish, cross-country ski, picnic, golf, canoe, or simply relax in a large preserve that leaves urban life behind. For more information on the Forest Preserves of Cook County, visit

Visit two of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County