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IRAP Fishing

The Basics

The Illinois Recreational Access Program (IRAP) leases ponds, impoundments and stream banks along public waterways from private landowners and makes them available for controlled, public access. Fishing is a great way to spend quality time with family and friends and introduce a youngster to the joy of catching a bluegill or catfish! Anglers must register and reserve a fishing site online through IRAP's Reservation System, and then IRAP serves as the "middle person" in order to connect anglers to places to fish while keeping the identity of the angler and landowner seperate. Thus, anglers are not to contact the landowner, and landowners are not to contact the angler.

Who: Any legally licensed angler who complies with all Illinois fishing laws may register.

When: Fishing activities on IRAP sites are available for public access from April 1 - September 30.

  • Access is available Friday through Monday, from sunrise to sunset.
  • Foot traffice ONLY.
  • Pond or Streambank access only- no boats.
  • Illinois Fishing Rules and Regulations must be followed.

Where: Please see the statewide maps for pond and river/streambank fishing below:

What: Reserve your fishing site below:

How It Works

  1. A participant must first register online and receive an IRAP participant ID Number.

  2. During the registration process, the participant must agree to and sign the Liability Waiver.

  3. Once the IRAP participant is registered, they may go to IRAP’s reservation system and make up to three reservations at a time for fishing sites.

  4. When a reservation is complete, the angler will then have access to driving directions, a fishing site map, and a site permit to print and take with them.

  5. If a youth is accompanying an adult, they must also register as a participant. A

    ll participants over the age of five must register.
  6. No more than 4 anglers are allowed per fishing site.


  7. Foot traffic ONLY.
  8. Illinois Fishing Rules and Regulations must be followed.

IRAP access is provided through cooperation of private landowners
and the IL Dept. of Natural Resources.

Participating is this program is a special privilege.

Please be respectful, ethical and safe.

Leave site as you found it. Take ALL garbage with you.

Park vehicle in designated parking area.