Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Fishermen participate in a largemouth-bass population survey coordinated by the Directorate of Public Works Natural Resources Branch on Aug. 18, 2015, at North Flowage at Fort McCoy. Several people participated in the catch-and-release survey to determine whether largemouth bass are growing and surviving in the flowage. (U.S. Army Photo by Scott T. Sturkol, Public Affairs Office, Fort McCoy)

2020 Fort McCoy fishing season began May 2

Fishing on installation lakes and flowages is allowed May 2 through March 7, 2021, said Fisheries Biologist John Noble with Fort McCoy's Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division Natural Resources Branch.

The 2020 season also began as Fort McCoy's response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Due to COVID-19 concern, Pine View Campground - to include Suukjak Sep Lake Area - will be closed for fishing and recreational activity. All other fishing areas are expected to be open unless closed due to mission training.
Anglers are reminded to check the game line for information on fishing area closures.

"As for regulation changes this year, all remain the same except anglers will not have to sign in and out of areas they are fishing," Noble said. "Anglers are asked to please remember to display a card or sheet of paper with your iSportsman account number on the dashboard of your vehicle."

Also, because of the pandemic response, the Fort McCoy Permit Sales Office remains closed until further notice. People can purchase Fort McCoy fishing permits through the installation iSportsman website, https://ftmccoy.isportsman.net. People without internet access may utilize the iSportsman computer kiosk at the hunter information point (HIP) to purchase their permits or to check the game line.

Permit sales staff are also available to provide over the phone support to people who need help with the process or for any other questions customers may have. Anyone with questions can call 608-388-3337, leave a detailed
message, and a permit sales member will return the call. Messages are checked periodically so customers should plan ahead as responses may not be immediate due to remote office working conditions.

All permits for hunting, fishing, and firewood cutting at Fort McCoy must be purchased through iSportsman and an iSportsman account is required to purchase any of these permits.

Anglers have plenty of options for fishing too, Noble said. North Flowage and Lost Lake on Fort McCoy's North Post are open year-round for panfish, such as bluegill, and are available for the Wisconsin bass catch-and-release
season held April 1 through May 1.

"Fort McCoy lakes, with the exception of the North Flowage and Lost Lake, will be closed to fishing with the conclusion of inland game-fishing season on March 7, 2021," Noble said.

For trout fishing, there is a bag limit of five trout with no size restrictions. There is a special regulation for trout caught at Silver Creek, Noble said.

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

The Fort McCoy fishing map, also available on the Fort McCoy iSportsman website, is highlighted in orange along Silver Creek to distinguish the special regulation area.

This is the fifth year in which Wisconsin has a longer trout season, running May 2 to Oct. 15.

Anglers must have the appropriate Wisconsin licenses to fish on post, as well. This includes a general Wisconsin fishing license, a trout stamp if fishing for trout, and the Fort McCoy fishing permit.

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. Again, all are available for purchase
through the iSportsman website.

There also will be a Free Fishing Weekend on June 6-7 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 iSportsman Game Line at 866-277-1597 or visit the iSportsman
website for updated fishing area closures before going out.

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, when it reopens after the easing of pandemic
response measures. 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.

Other additional items for anglers to remember as the fishing season begins include:

• COVID-19 pandemic response items to remember: To help protect anglers from the spread of COVID-19, particularly those who are most vulnerable to infection and severe disease, staying home as much as possible is the best way to lower COVID-19 infection rates, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Distance is key during this public health emergency. Social distancing - the practice of keeping at least six feet apart from others and avoiding direct physical contact - is an effective means of slowing the rate of infection.

• Ongoing Permit Sales Office closure: Since March 23, the Permit Sales Office has been closed and will remain closed until further notice. Again, people who need to purchase permits can do so online through the iSportsman
website. Anyone with questions or who needs additional assistance, call 608-388-3337 and leave a message including a return phone number.

• Access to Fort McCoy waters: If a lake is listed as open on the game line, 866-277-1597, but is within a closed training area and military training is not taking place at the lake, anglers can use the marginal area around the
lake (i.e., mowed area or 50 feet from shore if the lake perimeter is not mowed) if it will not conflict with military training, as well as access the lake by the main access roads.

If a stream runs through a training area, or is used as a boundary of the training area, and the training area(s) are closed for the day, anglers can still access and fish those streams, but must stay within the stream corridor/floodplain, avoid military training, and access those streams at main road crossings.

An angler is not allowed to walk or drive through a closed training area to access streams. Parking of vehicles to access those streams should occur at main road/stream crossings. Silver Creek has a designated parking area along
the main road in Training Area B-2. Anglers should refer to the Fishing Map in appendix E, available on the iSportsman website. Anglers are responsible for knowing if the lakes are closed due to training, and this can be checked on the iSportsman Game Line posting.

•Activity Information Card: All anglers within a vehicle are required to display a Fort McCoy Activity Information Card. The card must show the iSportsman permit number for each permit holder associated with the vehicle for that given day's activity. The card must be placed on the vehicle dashboard and be easily readable through the windshield from the outside of the vehicle. The card should not be obstructed by any other papers, materials, or items on the dash or windshield. Hand-printed information must be legible and large enough to easily read thought the windshield.

• No motorized transportation/equipment (defined as any motorized cart, carrier, or wheeled machine aiding a permit holder to maneuver more easily) may be utilized while fishing on Fort McCoy. These include all-terrain vehicles, utility-terrain vehicles, side-by-sides, golf carts, lawn tractors, motorized carriers, and related vehicles.

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