|The 2012 Fort McCoy inland fishing season begins at 5
a.m. Saturday, May 5. John Noble, Fort McCoy installation fisheries
biologist, said McCoy will follow the same dates and times as the state
stream trout fishing season, which runs from May 5 through Sunday, Sept.
30. The lakes are open for game fish harvest from May 5 until March 1,
Steve Rood (right) and Ryan
Ennis, contracted Colorado State University employees who work
for the Fort McCoy fisheries program, conduct fish shocking
population studies at Stillwell Lake at Fort McCoy in
preparation for the inland fishing season.
(Photo by Rob Schuette)
Fishing at Fort McCoy is open to the public. Anyone who wants to
fish on the installation will need valid Fort McCoy and state
Fishing licenses and permits can be purchased through the Wisconsin
Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Automated License Issuance
System (ALIS). ALIS locations are available at retail and/or
sporting goods stores throughout the state.
Anglers also can purchase licenses, permits and stamps at Fort McCoy
at the Pine View Campground, which is open to the public, and at the
Fort McCoy Exchange, building 1538, which is open to authorized
Fort McCoy also follows State of Wisconsin fishing laws, such as the
requirement for anglers to have state fishing licenses and trout
stamps if they plan to fish for trout.
Regulations are available online at the Fort McCoy website
clicking on the hunting and fishing information button on the front
page. Fishing area maps are available at Permit Sales, building
1668; the Visitor Control Center, building 35; and Pine View
Campground, building 8053.
For those interested in fishing streams, the early catch-and-release
trout season ends at midnight Sunday, April 29. No fishing will be
allowed after then until May 5.
New anglers who haven’t fished at Fort McCoy are encouraged to
obtain a Fort McCoy fishing regulation before going fishing. The
installation also has specific regulations designed to enhance
fishing experiences, Noble said. Special regulations are in place at
the North Flowage, West Sandy Lake and Clear Creek. These
regulations, rules and bag limits help ensure everyone has a chance
to catch fish. Lost Lake and the North Flowage are the only lakes
open from March until the May fishing season opener, for panfishing
Noble said the installation also will participate in the State of
Wisconsin “Free Fishing Weekend” Saturday, June 2-Sunday, June 3.
Anglers will not need licenses or permits those days but must follow
all Fort McCoy and Wisconsin regulations, rules, bag limits, etc.
Fishing conditions for the 2012 season are expected to be good,
Noble said trout stocking operations are planned for Sandy, Big
Sandy and Squaw Lakes and at the Sparta and Swamp ponds.
The bag limit for Ranch Creek, a tributary of Clear Creek on North
Post, is three trout with a minimum 9-inch length. For the section
of Silver Creek from the West Silver Wetland to the western boundary
of Fort McCoy, the bag limit is three trout with a minimum 7-inch
At all other lakes and streams, anglers can keep five trout, with a
minimum 7-inch length, he said. Additionally, gear use on the Silver
Creek stretch is restricted to artificial lures to target brook and
brown trout, Noble said.
As a U.S. Army installation, Noble reminds all anglers that military
training has priority for land/water use on Fort McCoy. Big Sandy,
in particular, is used for a variety of water training exercises,
such as water-purification and bridge-crossing operations.
To check on an area’s availability, call the Fort McCoy Game Line at
Even if a particular fishing area is open, troops may be training on
or near that location, so anglers must respect all training missions
and move to another Fort McCoy fishing area, if necessary, he said.
Anglers need to follow good safety practices.
For more information about fishing opportunities or for questions
about fishing regulations at Fort McCoy, call the Fort McCoy Permit
Sales Office at 608-388-3337.