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Is the Des Plaines River any good????


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I recently have moved back to the Park Ridge area and drive by the Des Plaines River everyday. Is there ANYTHING at all to try for in this part of the river. When I was growing up in this area, the waters were not plentiful. Are they worth hitting in any way or should I ignore it all together.


Much appreciate any response on this river and the surroundings. What is your take on it.

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A friend of mine goes along on the shocking boat most times for that river, and the last I heard was that the Smallie stocking project was a near total disaster. They shocked up a total of one smallmouth on a particular trip a couple years ago.

I've been told that they simply aren't spawning much at all.

Things may have changed in the last couple years, but it never hurts to try regardless.

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I haven't fished the Des Plaines or spent any time on it, but I have seen a bit of data out of it. The water chemistry there seems to be improving, but still has issues. Here's a map of local water quality on the Des Plaines...




...and some discussion about its current status.







On the other hand, if you throw in the tributaries, there seems to be respectable diversity in the system. The Iowa darter is in the Des Plains...and in this area of the country, that's a pretty rare species. As Mike said, Smallmouth are on the list. But isn't it a slow, low gradient river? I don' think I'd fish there for smallies....carp maybe?


Here's list of what the Illinois Natural History Survey has on record. This list is less comprehensive than the list the field offices in the IDNR will keep. Notice that it goes back to 1901. Interesting too that there were trout (Onchorhynchus mykiss) in tributary streams there as late as 1967.



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Thanks for the responses. I will have to give it a try in the next few weeks and give a report as to what my findings are. If there is an improval on these waters it will make it easier to fish near home. I will keep my fingers crossed when I am on the waters.

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