Fort McCoy fishing season will begin Saturday, May 2, and runs
concurrent with the Wisconsin general inland fishing season.
expectations are high again this year. Anglers enjoyed some great ice
fishing. Some have had some good days this spring, as well, for the
early catch-and-release season. With this, we believe fishing
experiences to be good as the regular season begins May 2," said
John Noble, installation fisheries biologist. "Based on some
sampling surveys, we expect to hear reports of anglers harvesting big
fish so it should be exciting."
Steve Rood (without hat) and Brad
Betthauser, contracted fisheries technicians for the Fort McCoy
Fisheries Program, collect bluegills at Stillwell Lake as part
of a fish-population survey. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
anglers are aware of the requirements in place to fish Fort McCoy;
however, they are reminded to have their fishing licenses prior to
fishing. Noble said anglers should be sure to purchase the necessary
state licenses and Fort McCoy fishing permits early. Fort McCoy no
longer sells fishing or hunting permits at the Permit Sales Office.
must be purchased from one of the Wisconsin Department of Natural
Resources Automated License Issuance System (ALIS) agents. Anglers are
advised to make sure they ask the ALIS agent for Fort McCoy fishing
approval to be added to their Wisconsin License purchase so they meet
legal requirements to fish at Fort McCoy.
who aren’t sure they want to invest in a fishing permit for Fort
McCoy or even would like to fish at Fort McCoy can fish for free
during Wisconsin’s Free Fishing Weekend, Saturday, June 6 and
Sunday, June 7.
to Noble, "This is a great time to fish Fort McCoy without a fee
and a reason to fish more often!"
McCoy Fishing Regulations, along with lake information, are available
at the Fort McCoy Welcome Center (building 35) located adjacent to the
Fort McCoy Main Gate and at Pine View Recreation Area (building 8053).
Fishing regulations (not including the fishing map) may be printed out
under Recreation Opportunities. The Pine View Recreation Area
(Campground building 8053) is an authorized ALIS agent and can provide
anglers with "one-stop" shopping for their Wisconsin and
Fort McCoy fishing license, approvals and regulations.
McCoy has unique regulations in place to avoid training conflicts and
to provide quality recreational opportunities while military training
is conducted. If training is occurring at one of the lakes, anglers
are requested to respect the military exercise and select another one
of the installation’s fine fishing locations, Noble said. One
location anglers may encounter increased military training is at Big
Sandy Lake, which has been upgraded to support Army’s water-training
the exception of a few situations, Fort McCoy usually follows the
Wisconsin laws, such as the requirement for anglers to have state
licenses and trout stamps (when fishing for trout). Fort McCoy has
several unique regulations designed to enhance their fishing
experience. Anglers should read the Fort McCoy Fishing Regulations to
be aware of special regulations in place at the North Flowage, West
Sandy Lake, and at Silver Creek near the Sparta-Fort McCoy airport.
addition to having the proper fishing license and permits, Fort McCoy
regulations require anglers to display an activity card for security
and safety. Anglers fishing on Fort McCoy are required to have a
five-inch by eight-inch index-type card or equivalent posted on the
dashboard of their vehicles which contains the names of everyone in
the vehicle, activity (fishing), and emergency phone contact.
asked 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 at 608-388-2266.
who need more information about fishing can call the Permit Sales
Office at 608-388-3337. The Permit Sales Office can answer questions
from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For more information about the ALIS process,
contact the closest Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Service
Center. State licenses also are available online at http://www.dnr.state.wi.us
or by calling 877-945-4236 (877-WI-LICENSE).
McCoy fishing approvals, however, are not available using these two
options and must be purchased in person at a DNR Service Center or
McCoy will continue fish tagging in an effort to maintain and enhance
its fish population. 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
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 the fish.
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." Noble said.
by Fort McCoy Fisheries Program.)