Chicago Area Paddling/Fishing Pages

Brown Trout
(Salmo trutta)
We are not responsible for errors or omissions.
When boating, regardless of water depth, wear a PFD!

Description Regulations Habitat Records

Gamefish in the Chicago Area include:

  • Fishing for these requires a trout stamp in addition to your fishing license.


Brown trout are a hardy species. These are often stocked in streams where, due to pollution, rainbow cannot thrive. There are natural runs of Brown trout on two creeks in Northern Illinois each year now and one creek is stocked yearly. Brown trout have a square tail with no markings. There are large black and sometimes reddish-orange sports with a pale border on the sides. These fish consume insects, worms, crayfish and other fish. Brown trout spawn in the fall at gravely headwaters of streams. They grown rapidly. Brown trout prefer water temperatures between 55 and 65 degrees and are easier to catch in the early morning or evening than during the day.

Please check the fishing advisories for information.


Statewide, the daily creel limit is 5 trout or salmon, either singly or in the aggregate. No more than 5 fish of any one species (except for lake trout where 2 fish is the daily creek limit). For all trout and Salmon species the minimum length is 10 inches. Remember to check for site specific regulations. Site specific limits

Habitat, habits and breeding

For much more information on breeding, habits and habitat, you can read the entire U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) for Brown Trout This link is a scanned photocopy of the actual reports used by your local government to decide what fish to stock in particular locations. The reports are normally printed on heavy stock blue paper (You'll see the paper reflecting in the background of the scans. Warning: This report is a little over 1 meg in size and will require you to have Adobe Acrobat installed to view properly.


Illinois record: 36lb. 11.5oz,

North American Record: 40lb. 4oz

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