Anglers fishing Fort McCoy waters for rainbow trout this
summer will have better odds because of increased stocking efforts.
John Noble, Fort McCoy Fisheries biologist, said the Genoa National Fish
Hatchery provided the installation with approximately 18,000 rainbow
trout — 3,000 more than usual. Six Fort McCoy locations were stocked:
Squaw Lake, Sandy Lake, Big Sandy Lake, Stillwell Lake, Swamp Pond, and
Sparta Pond. Larger numbers of trout were stocked at Squaw, Sandy and
Big Sandy, he said.
Dan Kumlin, a maintenance
mechanic for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service at the Genoa
National Fish Hatchery, helps stock rainbow trout at Swamp Pond
at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
“The trout are also bigger than normal, averaging
about 10-and-three-quarters inches long,” Noble said. “The Genoa
Hatchery staff did a great job. Anglers should have some nice-sized
trout to catch this year.”
Noble said some Fort McCoy anglers may be asked about their fishing
experience in a creel survey. The survey is used by the Fort McCoy
Fisheries Management program to help gather data to make
improvements to the fisheries program.
Creel surveys were done on opening day, May 5 this year, and will be
conducted at least four times each month.
Contracted employees from Colorado State University conduct the
Noble said the one-on-one interaction with customers helps the
fisheries program learn more about their angling experience and
estimate annual fish harvest.
“From the 2011 Creel Survey, 42 percent of the anglers said they did
not purchase a fishing permit in 2010. That was up from an average
of 31 percent during the previous 10 years, with the survey
beginning in 1998.”
“We can usually relate this to a higher turnover rate of anglers as
employees.” Noble said. “Soldiers and Families can be here
temporarily and get a chance to enjoy some fishing. Another
contributing factor may be related to the Automated License Issuance
System “ALIS,” which has increased opportunities to get a fishing
permit, improving the angling access, and promoting the Fort McCoy
fishing season. We are finding some anglers traveling greater
distances to fish here. We will see if this trend continues and
learn more about our angler demographics.”
The North Flowage was the most-popular destination, with 26 percent
of the anglers planning to fish in it, followed by 21 percent at Big
Sandy Lake and 20 percent at Squaw Lake.
The Squaw Lake fishery provides a unique recreational opportunity
for Fort McCoy visitors, he said. The campground has an ALIS system.
Anglers can purchase Fort McCoy permits and also buy or rent other
recreational activities, such as lodging at the Pine View Campground
and recreational equipment, including boats, fishing gear, canoes,
Because of the high fishing pressure at Squaw Lake, excess bluegills
from the robust population at Stillwell Lake were transferred to
Squaw Lake to offset the effects of high angling pressure and
limited spawning habitat, Noble said. The Squaw Lake bluegill
fishing has been a great bonus to angler’s activity and creel.
“Early season reports indicate fishing is good in all post
waterways,” Noble said. “We’re looking forward to a busy year.”
Anglers can purchase necessary licenses and permits at any location,
such as retail or sport shops, that has ALIS equipment or at the
Pine View Campground, building 8053 (open to public), or at the Fort
McCoy Exchange, building 1537 (open to authorized military
For more information about fishing opportunities/regulations at Fort
McCoy, visit the Fort McCoy public website at
www.mccoy.army.mil and click
on visitors and fishing and hunting or call the Permit Sales Office