Lakewood Forest Preserve in Wauconda will open for rainbow trout fishing Saturday, April 6, following the release of roughly 600 pounds of trout in Banana Lake.
Most of the trout range in size from three-quarters to one pound. The trout stocking is a biannual fall and spring event at the 3.2-acre Banana Lake. Daily creel limit is five. The deepest point in Banana Lake is 25 feet.
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Fishing in the Lake County forest preserves is free. Anglers ages 16 and older must have an Illinois fishing license. Trout fishermen must also have an Illinois inland trout stamp. Proceeds from the sale of the stamps help fund the stocking program.
Lakewood features four additional lakes: 8-acre Taylor Lake, with maximum depth of 20 feet; 5-acre Beaver Lake, with maximum depth of 10 feet; 2-acre Acorn Pond, with maximum depth of 14 feet; and 4-acre Heron Pond, with maximum depth of 5 feet.
Most are natural potholes and sloughs that were dammed to create deeper permanent lakes and ponds.
All contain largemouth bass, bluegill and channel catfish. Black crappie, green and pumpkinseed sunfish and golden shiners are present in some of the ponds.
There are many other great spots to fish in the Lake County forest preserves. Download a free guide to fishing in the forest preserves at the district's website, www.lcfpd.org, or anglers can call (847) 367-6640 for copies.
More than 12 lakes and ponds are profiled in the guide, which includes directions, depth maps and color illustrations of the fish to seek. Des Plaines River access points are also included, along with wheelchair access points, ice fishing information and more.
Important rules are detailed in the guide such as minimum lengths required by the Lake County Forest Preserve District and catch limits set by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. These rules help maintain healthy fish populations in forest preserve lakes and ponds that are managed with assistance from the IDNR.