[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                        April 25, 2008
Leisure

McCoy fishing season 
opens Saturday, May 3

      The Fort McCoy fishing season will begin Saturday, May 3. This also is the beginning of the Wisconsin general inland waters season, which runs concurrently with Fort McCoy's fishing season. 

      "We know anglers enjoyed some great ice fishing and expect more of the same this spring (during) the early catch-and-release season and for the regular (fishing) season, beginning May 3," said John Noble, installation fisheries biologist.

Photo: Fort McCoy Fisheries Program personnel conduct surveys at the North Flowage to help determine the number of fish in the body of water. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
Fort McCoy Fisheries Program personnel conduct surveys at the North Flowage to help determine the number of fish in the body of water. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

      Noble said anglers must purchase Fort McCoy permits and state licenses, which are required to fish at Fort McCoy.

      Fort McCoy fishing permits are available for sale at the Permit Sales Office, building 2168, South 8th Avenue (east entrance) or via mail. Applications also may be printed at http://www.mccoy.army.mil/RecreationOpportunities/ Fishing%20&%20Hunting/apps/pdf/FallApp.pdf.

      The Permit Sales Office is open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Questions can be directed to 
(608) 388-3337.

      Fort McCoy fishing permits also are available at the Pine View Recreation Area, building 8053.

      
        State licenses and trout stamps (when fishing for trout) are required to fish at Fort McCoy.   


"We know anglers enjoyed some great ice fishing and expect more of the same this spring (during) the early catch-and-release season and for the regular (fishing) season, beginning May 3."

John Noble,
Fort McCoy Fisheries Biologist

Fishing contest to run May 3-Sept. 1

      The Pine View Recreation Area Campground will host its annual fishing contest from Saturday, May 3-Monday, Sept. 1.

      The contest is open to the public. All fish must be caught in Fort McCoy waters, registered at the Campgrounds Office, building 8053, within 24 hours and can't be frozen.             

      Anglers must follow all applicable Fort McCoy and state regulations and possess State of Wisconsin and Fort McCoy fishing licenses/permits.

      Personnel can purchase all of these items at the Pine View Campgrounds Office. The Fort McCoy fishing licenses/permits can be bought over the counter, with applicable surcharges.

      Pine View has an Automated License Issuance System (ALIS), which can be used to purchase state hunting licenses/permits, park system passes, trapping permits, All-Terrain Vehicle and Snowmobile trail passes, etc.

      Participants in the Fort McCoy fishing contest can enter fish in one of six categories, which are: large mouth bass, rainbow trout, crappie, cat fish, bull head and blue gill.

      Prizes will be awarded by weight and limited to one per person.

       A first- and second-place prize will be awarded in each category.

      For more information, call Pine View at (608) 388-3517/2619.

      These can be purchased at Pine View, the Post Exchange, building 1538, locally in Sparta or Tomah wherever fishing and hunting supplies are sold, or through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR). 

      Fort McCoy is working with the WDNR Bureau of Customer Service Licensing to offer installation fishing permits on "A.L.I.S." (Automated License Issuance System) later this year. Once that is operational, anglers will be able to purchase Fort McCoy permits wherever they purchase their state licenses.

      Information about state licenses is available online at http://www.dnr.state.wi.us or by calling (877) 945-4236 (877-WI-LICENSE).

      If anglers aren't sure they want to invest in a fishing permit for Fort McCoy, they're welcome to fish installation waters for free during Wisconsin's Free Fishing Weekend, Saturday, June 7-Sunday, June 8.

     "This is a great time to fish Fort McCoy without a fee and see why you should fish here more often!" Noble said.

      While Fort McCoy anglers are required to follow state regulations, they also should be aware that Fort McCoy has several unique regulations designed to enhance their fishing experience.

      Anglers should take note of the special regulations in place at the North Flowage, West Sandy Lake, and at Silver Creek near the Sparta-Fort McCoy airport, he said.

      In addition to having the proper fishing license and permits, all angers fishing on Fort McCoy are required to have a five-inch by eight-inch index-type card posted on the dashboard of their vehicles that contains the names of everyone in the vehicle, activity (fishing), and emergency phone contact.

      Fort McCoy fisheries personnel continue to tag fish. According to Ryan Ennis, fish technician, "Tagging fish allows us to collect information on growth rates, population estimates, harvest rates, and fish movements within a lake or stream system. The more information we have, the better we can manage these fish populations." 

      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 Fort McCoy lake signs. Interested anglers can provide their name and telephone numbers in addition to this information if they wish to learn more about their fish's life history. 

      The fisheries program staff members also 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.      

Photo: Steve Rood (right) and Joe Krahn (Fisheries Program technicians) weigh, measure and mark bass and bluegill fish at North Flowage in advance of the Fort McCoy inland fishing season. (Photo by Rob Schuette) (The Real McCoy Online Extra)
Steve Rood (right) and Joe Krahn (Fisheries Program technicians) weigh, measure and mark bass and bluegill fish at North Flowage in advance of the Fort McCoy inland fishing season. (Photo by Rob Schuette) (The Real McCoy Online Extra)

       Anglers must remember that Fort McCoy's main mission is training Soldiers, who have priority in training areas including around waterways, Noble said. Anglers may be required to leave an area, experience road detours, or be required to wait for activities to be completed.

       One location anglers may encounter increased military training is at Big Sandy Lake, which has been upgraded to support the Army's water-training mission.

      During training activities such as bridging and rafting, anglers may need to enjoy their fishing at other Fort McCoy lakes, Noble said. 

      The Fort McCoy Game Line at (608) 388-GAME (4263) will have up-to-date fishing access information. Anglers are encouraged to call the Game Line before fishing at Fort McCoy to find out if there are any special military training activities that may affect fishing at a specific location. Anglers are required to follow all McCoy rules and regulations.

      Noble requests that anyone who observes suspicious behavior or violations, for example, littering, moving fish to another location, or engaging in illegal activities such as overbagging fish, to report the activities to the Police Department Desk at (608) 388-2266.

(Story submitted by Fort McCoy Fisheries Program.)

 

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