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    Remember safety, risk management when out fishing

    Fishing at Fort McCoy

    Photo By Scott Sturkol | A family does some fishing at the Swamp Pond Recreation Area on May 9, 2020, on South...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office           

    Wisconsin’s annual fishing season opened May 2. With that opening comes more and more anglers heading to their favorite fishing spots to try their luck.

    While out, these anglers should also make safety a top priority, officials say. From boating to fishing hooks to walking the water’s edge, anglers have a variety of risks every time they go out.

    The National Park Service offers the following advice for angler safety:

    • Always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket when on, in, or near the water. If anglers falls into the water, they may not be able to reach their life jackets if they were left on the shore or in a boat. If a life jacket can be reached, it’s nearly impossible to put it on while someone is in the water. Don’t take the chance of drowning and wear a life jacket.

    • Designate a water watcher. When fishing around, on, or in open water, children and poor swimmers should always wear a properly fitted, U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device. Inflatable swimming rings and inflatable water wings are not a substitute for a life jacket. Assign a person in a family or group to be the “water watcher.” This person is responsible for keeping track of the children in the group when they are around, on, or in water. A moment’s distraction could quickly lead to a child drowning.

    • Use sunscreen and wear sun protection gear. Ultraviolet (UV) light damage to skin can occur in as little as 15 minutes. Sand and water reflect UV rays, increasing exposure. Apply sunscreen before the start of fishing and reapply at least every two hours or more frequently if sweating or getting wet while fishing. Remember to use a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or greater. Wear a hat, long sleeve shirt, pants, and sunglasses to provide the best protection from the sun.

    • Don’t get hooked; prevent and treat fishing hook related injuries. Handle the hook carefully during baiting and removing a catch. Look around before casting — make sure no one is nearby. Always wear shoes in fishing areas — discarded hooks and sharp rocks could injure feet. Learn first aid for removing hooks from the skin and treating the wound. If the hook has deeply penetrated the skin, muscles, tendons, or bone, if it is on the face or near/in the eyes, or if someone is bleeding excessively, seek medical treatment immediately.

    • Check the water temperature. People should get out of the water if they are getting cold. Natural bodies of water can be very cold even in the summertime. Hypothermia can begin to occur in water that is 80 degrees or colder, depending on your health, body composition, clothes being worn, and other factors. Hypothermia causes the body temperature to drop below average, typically 98.6 degrees. Symptoms can range from mild to severe — affecting a person’s ability to think and move to becoming unconscious leading to possible death. Know when to get out of the water and what to do if someone experiences hypothermia.

    According to, the following are some additional fishing safety tips to consider.

    • Inspect waterfronts daily — the natural environment is subject to change without notice.

    • Don’t fish in areas where it is not permitted. These areas have been declared “off limits” to protect wildlife, vegetation, or for personal safety.

    • Because fishing is practiced in a variety of environments, evaluate factors specific to fishing safety in each environment. For example, the ice fishing safety tip “avoid old ice” is only relevant in an ice-cold environment.

    • Bring along extra safety items, such as water, flashlights, maps, and a cellphone or radio.

    • Always wear foot gear appropriate to the conditions.

    • Use appropriate insect protection measures, including proper clothing and repellents.

    • Keep fishing knives sharp, and cover the blade when not in use.

    • Handle fish carefully.

    Apply all of these simple safety procedures for fishing to make your fishing experience worry-free. For more related safety information, visit, or contact the Fort McCoy Installation Safety Office.

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



    Date Taken: 05.21.2020
    Date Posted: 05.21.2020 15:59
    Story ID: 370574
    Location: FORT MCCOY, WI, US 

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