PEKIN

Mineral Springs Park Lagoon is local fishing hole for fall trout season

Dawn and dusk are traditionally considered the best times of day for fishing, because those are times when fish — like the rainbow trout currently being stocked in Mineral Springs Park Lagoon — tend to feed.

The 2018 Illinois Fall Trout Fishing season will officially begin at 5 a.m. on Oct. 20. Mineral Springs Park Lagoon is one of 57 ponds, lakes and streams throughout the state designated a trout fishing location by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). According to Pekin Park District Superintendent of Parks Scott Clausen, the IDNR has been stocking the lagoon with rainbow trout each fall since the 1980s, after the lagoon was dredged. 

“The quantity varies based on what the state budget allows and what IDNR deems is a healthy quantity,” he said.

No trout may be taken from Mineral Springs Park Lagoon or any other stocked site until the fall trout season opens, according to a Sept. 6 IDNR press release. Anyone attempting to take trout before the legal harvest season opening will be issued citations.

Trout season for the lagoon in Mineral Springs ends when the ice forms on the water, Clausen said. The lagoon may be fished again in the spring, but when the water warms up and the lagoon thaws, sick, weak and elderly fish die off in a natural fish kill, which depletes the number of trout that survived the winter.

“Activity at the beginning of the season is usually very high,” he said. “Then it drops off as the weather gets colder.”

The IDNR has added four new sites for Fall Trout Fishing in 2018 and will stock 67,000 fish throughout the state in the fall season. The new 2018 Fall Trout Fishing sites are Bauman Lake in Cherry Valley, Casey Park Pond in Casey, Weldon Springs State Park Lake near Clinton, and Belk Park Pond in Edwardsville.

All anglers must have a valid fishing license and an Inland Trout Stamp, unless they are under the age of 16, blind or disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from active duty in the Armed Forces. The daily catch limit for each angler is five trout. Illinois fishing licenses and Inland Trout Stamps are available at many bait shops, sporting goods stores and other retail outlets. Fishing licenses and trout stamps can also be purchased through the IDNR website.

For more information on Fall Trout Fishing, visit www.dnr.illinois.gov.