2018 Fort McCoy fishing season opens May 5 on post lakes, streams

Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office
Story by Scott Sturkol

Date: 04.27.2018
Posted: 04.27.2018 09:41
News ID: 274762
2018 Fort McCoy fishing season opens May 5 on post lakes, streams

The Fort McCoy fishing season opens May 5, concurrent with the Wisconsin season opener.

Fishing on installation lakes and flowages is allowed May 5 through March 3, 2019, said Fisheries Biologist John Noble with the Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division Natural Resources Branch.

“Early netting surveys that were conducted showed that we have nice size, naturally reproducing trout in our streams and nice size bluegills in many of the lakes,” Noble said. “Some of the best bluegill fishing is expected at the North Flowage and Lost Lake on North Post.”

Anglers are reminded that when the game-fishing season concludes March 3, 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.

For trout fishing, there is a bag limit of five trout with no size restrictions.
“There is 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 https://ftmccoy.isportsman.net, is highlighted in orange along Silver Creek to distinguish the special regulation area.

This is the third year in which Wisconsin has a longer trout season, running from May 3 to Oct. 15.

“The possibility to catch a large brown trout or brook trout is out there,” Noble said. In 2017, he said one Fort McCoy angler caught a brown trout that was more than 3 pounds and other trout around the same size.

Anglers must have the appropriate Fort McCoy permits and 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.

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.

The cost of a Fort McCoy annual fishing permit is $13 for people age 16 and older. Permits for youth under 16, seniors, and disabled anglers and four-day fishing permits are $8.

There also will be a Free Fishing Weekend June 2-3 in Wisconsin and at Fort McCoy. No licenses or permits are needed, but all bag limits and other rules apply.

“The Free Fishing Weekend is an excellent time for people to come out and see all the fantastic fishing areas we have here,” Noble said. Anglers should call the i-Sportsman Game Line at 866-277-1597 or visit the i-Sportsman website for updated fishing area closures.

To enhance fishing opportunities, 15,000 rainbow trout will be stocked in several Fort McCoy lakes at the end of April or early May, Noble said. Personnel with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Genoa National Fish Hatchery of Genoa, Wis., will stock fish in Suukjak Sep, Sandy, Stillwell, and Big Sandy lakes and in Sparta and Swamp ponds.

“These fish are expected to be between 8 and 10 inches in size,” Noble said.

“Rainbow trout are the preferred fish to stock, and stocking fish once a year in the spring allows for better survivability because of cooler water temperatures. It also saves money from multiple fish-stocking efforts.”
People interested in renting fishing equipment at Fort McCoy 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 the Pine View Campground office at 608-388-3517/2619.

For more Fort McCoy fishing information and to identify which waters are open for fishing, contact the iSportsman Game Line at 866-277-1597, or visit the Fort McCoy i-Sportsman website at https://ftmccoy.isportsman.net.

To see the latest Wisconsin fishing regulations, go to https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/documents/regulations/FishRegs1819Web.pdf.