Fort McCoy News April 28, 2017

Fishing season opens May 6 on post lakes, streams

The Fort McCoy fishing season opens May 6, concurrent with the Wisconsin season opener.

Fishing on installation lakes and flowages is allowed May 6 through March 4, 2018, said Fisheries Biologist John Noble with the Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division Natural Resources Branch.

"It looks like we will have good fishing opportunities all around the installation," Noble said. "Surveys showed lots of decent-size bluegills in North Flowage and Lost Lake. Also, our trout streams are filled with many decent-size trout, including brown and brook trout."

Anglers are reminded that when the game-fishing season concludes March 4, there is no catch-and-release season for game-fish species such as bass or walleye. Fishing is open year-round for panfish, such as bluegill, on North Flowage and Lost Lake.

Al Behn of Saint Charles, Ill., and Necedah, Wis., takes time to fish for stocked rainbow trout at Suukjak Sep Lake in 2016 near Pine View Campground at Fort McCoy. Behn said he regularly fishes at Fort McCoy and enjoys the easy access to many installation fishing areas. Suukjak Sep Lake was formerly known as Squaw Lake and was renamed in May 2016 by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names of the U.S. Geological Survey.
Al Behn of Saint Charles, Ill., and Necedah, Wis., takes time to fish for
stocked rainbow trout at Suukjak Sep Lake in 2016 near Pine View
Campground at Fort McCoy. Behn said he regularly fishes at Fort McCoy
and enjoys the easy access to many installation fishing areas. Suukjak Sep
Lake was formerly known as Squaw Lake and was renamed in May 2016
by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names of the U.S. Geological Survey.

Photo by Scott T. Sturkol

For trout fishing, there is a bag limit of five trout with no size restrictions.

"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.

This is the second year in which Wisconsin also has a longer trout season, running from May 4 to Oct. 15. "And, as I said, the trout fishing at Fort McCoy should be excellent," 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 and disabled anglers and four-day fishing permits are $8.

Licenses also can be purchased at the WDNR online at https://gowild.wi.gov. All prospective anglers have to do is create an account at the Go Wild site, select the licenses they need, pay for the licenses, and print them, all online. There also will be a free fishing weekend June 3-4 in Wisconsin and at Fort McCoy. No license is needed, but all bag limits and other rules apply.

"Prospective anglers also should know that many of our lakes have fishing piers available that are all handicapped accessible and are less than 2 years old," Noble said.

Also, people interested in renting fishing equipment can do so through Recreational Equipment Checkout with the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. Available equipment includes fishing poles, kayaks, canoes, and boats.

Varying rates apply. To find out more, visit https://mccoy.armymwr.com/us/mccoy/programs/recreational-equipment-checkout-outdoor-recreation or call 608-388-3517/2619 or 800-531-4703.

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.)