|Story & photo by Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff
More than 400 fish from Stillwell Pond and the North Flowage at Fort
McCoy have found a new home in Tomah as the installation’s Fisheries
Program supported restocking efforts for Lake Tomah.
Wisconsin Department of Natural
Resources and McCoy Fisheries Program personnel collect fish
from the Whitetail Ridge Ski Area holding pond for transport to
Jordan Weeks, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR)
senior fisheries biologist, said the agency gladly took about 300 blue
gills and 100 bass from their temporary home at the Whitetail Ridge Ski
Area holding pond to Lake Tomah Nov. 10.
The fish had spent about 60 days at the holding pond so they could be
certified as healthy by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service before the
Weeks, who has responsibility for La Crosse, Monroe, Vernon and Crawford
counties, said the fish will help replenish the Lake Tomah fish
population, which was eradicated to fight an overabundance of carp.
“We’re happy to receive the Fort McCoy fish as they fit into our fish
management plan,” Weeks said. “We couldn’t get all the fish we wanted
from other sources, so these fish worked out great.”
Fort McCoy had planned to remove the fish from its water bodies to thin
out the populations and, hopefully, support fish growth in the two
species, he said.
WDNR and Fort McCoy personnel used a net to capture the fish and move
them from the Whitetail Ridge holding pond to a truck for direct
transport to Tomah. Weeks said the warm weather — in the 60s that day —
aided the successful transfer of the fish.
“When the fish get into Lake Tomah, they will spread out on their own
and find the areas they want to inhabit,” Weeks said.
The fish should survive the winter in Lake Tomah and be ready to support
the recreational opportunities next year, he said.
For more information about fishing opportunities and requirements at
Fort McCoy, visit the Permit Sales Office at building 2168, call
608-388-3337 or visit the Fort McCoy public website at