SPRINGFIELD, ILL. – To celebrate “It’s Our River Day,” the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) will offer free fishing at state parks on Saturday, September 18. On this day, anyone may fish without a sport fishing license, inland trout stamp or salmon stamp.
“We hope events like ‘It’s Our River Day’ will spark interest in our youth and introduce a new generation to the joy of fishing and the beauty of our state parks,” IDNR Director Marc Miller said. “Rivers are too important to take for granted and that’s what ‘It’s Our River Day’ is all about - it’s about celebrating the wonderful river system we have here in the land of Lincoln.”
The “Free Fishing Day” on September 18 applies to both Illinois residents and non-residents. Free fishing on that day will only be allowed within the boundaries of Illinois state parks, natural areas and wildlife areas where public fishing opportunities are available. The “Free Fishing Day” waiver of fishing license requirements will not include fishing on the Illinois waters of Lake Michigan or on river positions outside of Illinois state park boundaries.
“It’s Our River Day” is observed each year on the third Saturday in September, with the goal of increasing awareness and appreciation of the Prairie State’s waterways. It was created by the Illinois River Coordinating Council, which Governor Pat Quinn has chaired since 1997.
Events involving river clean up, conservation, education and recreation will take place at dozens of locations throughout the state and public participation is encouraged to protect this precious, natural resource.
For more information about “It’s Our River Day” activities, visit www.dnr.state.il.us/iord. For a complete list of state parks and other sites, visit the IDNR website at www.dnr.state.il.us.