ParkTalk Blog - Let's Go Fishing!

Friday, April 7, 2023

For many of us, one of our happy childhood memories is going fishing with a parent or grandparent: setting out together to find the perfect spot, learning to cast a line, and the excitement of feeling the tug of a fish and reeling in your first catch. For parents who want to carry on this tradition with their children, or for anyone who wants to enjoy a few quiet hours of fishing, there are places to fish in many of our Naperville parks.

Here is what you need to know to get started.

Q: Do I need a license to fish in Naperville parks?

A: Ages 16 and up need an Illinois fishing license obtained through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Kids ages 15 and under may fish for free without a license.

Q: How much does a license cost?

A: License costs vary from $5.50 for a 24-hour license to $15.00 for an annual sport fishing license ($7.75 for ages 65 and older).

Q: Where can I purchase a license?

A: You can purchase a license online here or in one of several retail stores in Naperville that sell fishing licenses, including Dick's Sporting Goods at 2763 West 75th Street and Walmart at 2552 West 75th Street.

Q: Which parks have access to ponds or rivers for fishing?

A: Find the nearest park with access to ponds or streams by using our Park and Facilities Interactive Map. There are 21 parks that have access to ponds or streams. Ponds with fishing piers are located at Hobson West Ponds and Commissioners Park. The following parks have access to the DuPage River shoreline:

Dorothea Weigand Riverfront Park
Knoch Knolls Park
Lincoln Greenway
Pioneer Park
Riverwalk Park

Q: Does the Naperville Park District offer fishing programs?

A: Yes! Fishin' Kids is a program for kids ages 5-11 and is offered several times each year at the pond adjacent to Knoch Knolls Nature Center. There also are opportunities for kids to fish in some of the summer nature camps and in our scout group programs. Check current program listings in the District's Program Guide.

The Park District's Nature Center Manager, Angelique Harshman, teaches the scout programs and oversees the Fishin' Kids programs at the Knoch Knolls Nature Center. In her experience, kids love these fishing programs. "Kids like trying something new, being outside and being allowed to get wet and muddy," explained Angelique. "I think there are certain things every childhood should include, at least once, and more often if the child likes it: climbing trees, camping under the stars, playing in a creek, planting a garden and fishing."