|The Fort McCoy fishing season begins Saturday, May 1,
and runs concurrent with the Wisconsin general inland fishing season.
“Fishing expectations are high for this year,” said John Noble,
installation fisheries biologist. “Anglers enjoyed some great ice
fishing. Some have had great days this spring, as well, for the early
catch-and-release (trout) season.”
A brown trout that was caught in
Fort McCoy waters by Trenton Wilder earlier this month during
the early catch-and-release trout season was tagged. Tagging
helps installation Fisheries Program personnel track the
installation’s fish population.
The early data indicates that installation fishing experiences will
“Based on the sampling surveys, we expect to hear reports of anglers
harvesting big fish. It is always exciting to learn how an angler’s
fishing experience ended,” he said.
Fort McCoy Fishing Regulations, along with lake information, are
available at the Fort McCoy Welcome Center (building 35), located
adjacent to the Main Gate, and at Pine View Recreation Area (building
8053). Fishing regulations (not including the fishing map) may be
printed from the Web site at
http://www.mccoy.army.mil under Recreation Opportunities.
Noble said a new Fort McCoy fishing regulation is expected to be out in
May. No major changes are expected, but the new regulation will allow
anglers to use barbed hooks when fishing for trout, he said. The new
regulation will be available at all locations where the current
regulation is available.
Fort McCoy usually follows the Wisconsin fishing laws, such as the
requirement for anglers to have state licenses and trout stamps (when
fishing for trout).
Fort McCoy also has several unique regulations designed to enhance
fishing experiences. Special regulations are in place at the North
Flowage, West Sandy Lake, and at Silver Creek near the Sparta-Fort McCoy
Anglers also must display an activity card on their vehicle for security
The activity card is a five-inch by eight-inch index-type card or
equivalent posted on the dashboard of their vehicles. The card will list
the names of everyone in the fishing party, the activity (fishing), and
emergency phone contact.
Fort McCoy will continue fish
tagging in an effort to maintain and enhance its fish
Tagging fish allows fisheries program personnel to collect
information on growth rates, harvest rates, and fish movements
used in the lake and stream population estimates. The more
information Fort McCoy has, the better these fish populations
can be managed.
Anglers are encouraged to help by reporting the fish length, tag
number and location caught by calling 608-388-2252 or by
recording the length and tag number on fish harvest cards, which
are located at several of the Fort McCoy lake signs. Interested
anglers can provide their name and telephone numbers with this
information if they wish to learn more about the life history of
Licenses and permits must be purchased prior to fishing. Permits can
be purchased from a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Automated
License Issuance System (ALIS) agent. Anglers should ask the ALIS agent
for Fort McCoy fishing approval to be added to their Wisconsin License
purchase to meet requirements to fish for trout.
Because the fishing licenses/permits are sold by the ALIS system, the
Fort McCoy Permit Sales Office no longer sells fishing or hunting
permits. Customers who need more information about fishing can call the
Permit Sales Office at 608-388-3337 between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
The Pine View Recreation Area Campground (building 8053) is an
authorized ALIS agent and can provide all anglers with “one-stop”
shopping for their Wisconsin and Fort McCoy fishing license, approvals
Military authorized personnel also can use the ALIS located at the Main
Post Exchange, building 1538, to purchase their fishing
For more information about the ALIS process, contact the closest
Wisconsin DNR Service Center. State licenses also are available online
or by calling 877-945-4236 (877-WI-LICENSE).
Fort McCoy fishing approvals, however, are not available on the Web site
or by calling and must be purchased in person at a DNR Service Center or
No permits or licenses are necessary to fish at Fort McCoy June 5-6,
during Wisconsin’s Free Fishing Weekend.
“This is a great time to fish at Fort McCoy without a fee and a reason
to fish more often,” Noble said.
The installation has unique regulations in place to avoid training
conflicts and to provide quality recreational opportunities while
military training is being conducted.
If training is occurring at one of the lakes, anglers should select
another location, Noble said. Anglers may encounter increased military
training at Big Sandy Lake, which has been upgraded to support the
Army’s water-training mission.
Anglers may call the installation game line at 608-388-4263 or the
Permit Sales Office to check on military closures of fishing areas.
Noble cautioned that military training schedules are subject to change
so advanced warning is not always possible.
Noble also requests that anyone who observes suspicious behavior or
violations, related to security, theft, vandalism, littering, moving
fish to another location, or engaging in illegal activities such as
overbagging fish, should report the activities to the Police Department
Fisheries management personnel will continue to conduct angler surveys
to learn who uses Fort McCoy’s lakes and streams. Creel surveys inform
the fisheries biologist about fishing pressure, harvest, and anglers’
opinions. “We find this to be a good opportunity for us to interact with
our customers and inform them about the military training mission, too.”
(Submitted by Fort McCoy Fisheries Program.)