Fort McCoy News April 22, 2016

Fishing season opens May 7 on post lakes, streams

The Fort McCoy fishing season opens Saturday, May 7, concurrent with the Wisconsin season opener.

Approximately 15,000 rainbow trout are planned to be stocked in the following installation waters by opening day: Squaw, Sandy, Big Sandy, and Stillwell lakes as well as Sparta and Swamp ponds.

Fishing on installation lakes and flowages is allowed May 7 through March 5, 2017, said Fisheries Biologist John Noble with the Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division Natural Resources Branch.

Staff with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Genoa National Fish Hatchery stock rainbow trout in Squaw Lake on North Post in 2015.
A staff member with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Genoa National
Fish Hatchery stocks rainbow trout in Squaw Lake on North Post in 2015.

File photo

Anglers are reminded that when the game-fishing season concludes March 5, there is no catch-and-release season for game-fish species such as bass or walleye. Fishing is open year-round for panfish on North Flowage and Lost Lake.

Recent changes in Wisconsin's fishing regulations also have translated to changes with the installation's fishing regulation, which is available on Fort McCoy i-Sportsman website at ftmccoy.isportsman.net. For example, for trout fishing, there is a bag limit of five trout with no size restrictions. Previously there was a size restriction.

"There is, however, an exception and a special regulation for Silver Creek for trout," Noble said. "For the lower reach of Silver Creek from the bridge at the West Silver wetland to the western boundary near the railroad trestle, anglers may keep three trout as their daily bag limit using artificial lures only. There is no size restriction."

The fishing map, available on the Fort McCoy i-Sportsman website at ftmccoy.isportsman.net, is highlighted in orange along Silver Creek to distinguish the special regulation area.

Another change to trout fishing in Wisconsin and on post is a longer season. Previously, the trout season ended Sept. 30 each year, but now people can fish for trout until Oct. 15.

"This provides anglers a longer time to enjoy trout fishing not just on Fort McCoy, but throughout the state," Noble said.

Anglers must have the appropriate Fort McCoy permits and state of Wisconsin licenses to fish on post. This includes a general Wisconsin fishing license, a trout stamp if fishing for trout, and a Fort McCoy fishing permit. Fort McCoy fishing permits are sold through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Automated License Issuance System (ALIS). Permits can be purchased at any authorized WDNR ALIS vendor.

On Fort McCoy, licenses can be purchased at the Pine View Campground office. Military ID card holders can purchase licenses at the Exchange service desk. The cost of a Fort McCoy annual fishing permit is $13 for people age 17 and older. Permits for youth age 16 and younger, seniors, disabled anglers, and four-day fishing permits are $8.

Also of note, there will be a free fishing weekend June 4-5 in Wisconsin and at Fort McCoy. No license is needed, but all bag limits and other rules apply.

For more Fort McCoy fishing information and to identify which waters are open for fishing, contact the Permit Sales office at 608-388-3337, or visit the Fort McCoy i-Sportsman website at ftmccoy.isportsman.net.

For more information about fishing in Wisconsin, go online to the WDNR website at dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing.

   (Article prepared by the Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office.)