The 2022 Wisconsin trout catch and release season, which includes Fort McCoy streams and tributaries, opened Jan. 5 and runs through 11:59 p.m. May 6.
Only artificial lures may be used at the start of the trout catch-and-release season, and all fish caught must be released immediately, said Fort McCoy fisheries biologist John Noble of the Directorate of Public Works, Division of the Environment, Directorate of Natural Resources. Proper Fort McCoy license, Wisconsin fishing license and trout stamp are required.
Noble said access to trout streams and tributaries from Fort McCoy is fairly easy.
“There are plenty of trout fishing opportunities near several major roads in Fort McCoy,” Noble said. “Also, anglers should try to fish when the water warms up around noon. They should also fish with smaller baits and monitor trout feeding activity.
Fishing licenses and permits for 2021 are valid until March 31. A 2022 Wisconsin fishing license, trout stamp, and related Fort McCoy license will be required beginning April 1.
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2022 licenses can be purchased from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources online at https://gowild.wi.gov. Prospective anglers can create an account on the Go Wild site, select the licenses they need, pay for the licenses and print them, all online.
Fort McCoy fishing licenses are only available through the iSportsman automated licensing system at https:ftmccoy.isportsman.net. People without direct internet access can also use the Hunter Information Point self-service kiosk or stop by building 2168 to receive assistance from the permit sales office to purchase their permits from of the iSportman system. The HIP is located along State Highway 21 at the intersection of South J Street and State Highway 21 and is open year-round. A credit card will be required to purchase a permit from the HIP.
Anglers are also reminded to read Fort McCoy’s updated fishing regulations found on the Fort McCoy iSportsman website, https://ftmccoy.isportsman.net and to check the line of play for closed areas before fishing. The game line can be accessed through the iSportsman website, at HIP or by phone at 866-277-1597.
Also, thanks to a number of resources available online, here are some tips on how to catch and release trout properly:
- When catching and releasing a trout, face the fish upstream in a freshwater current, preferably in creek water near the shore and not in a fast current.
- When you release the fish, don’t let it go until it gives strong tail swimming motions and swims firmly out of your gentle grip.
- Handle the trout gently, keeping it in the water as much as possible. Unhooking the trout without taking it out of the water is preferable.
- Remove the hooks with needle-nose pliers or forceps. Using barbless hooks makes releasing trout much easier.
- If a trout is hooked deep, cut the line and release the fish. The hook will eventually dissolve, leaving the trout unharmed.
More information on inland trout fishing is available online on the DNR website at https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/trout. The DNR also says Wisconsin has more than 13,000 miles of trout streams, including more than 5,000 classified as high-grade Class I trout streams.
For Wisconsin Trout Fishing Regulations 2022-23 and more on license rates, visit https://widnr.widen.net/s/jmjv2gw278/troutregsfull2223press.
Anglers looking for more information on facility fishing regulations should go to the Fort McCoy iSportsman website at ftmccoy.isportsman.net, or contact the license sales office at 608- 388-3337.