Fort McCoy Natural Resource Branch
Fishing Permit Information and Season Dates
Fort McCoy Fishing Permit Types
All persons fishing on Fort McCoy are required to have a Fort McCoy Fishing permit and appropriate Wisconsin Fishing license. Wisconsin residents 65 and over, persons with disabilities (as determined by applicable Wisconsin law), children under age 16 fishing independently, and 4-day residents/nonresidents, may purchase a reduced fee permit. Children under age 16 do not require a Fort McCoy Fishing permit if fishing with someone who has a Fort McCoy Fishing permit and Wisconsin fishing license (with trout stamp if fishing for trout). However, fish caught by children under age 16 who do not have a Fort McCoy Fishing permit must be included in the accompanying Fort McCoy and Wisconsin licensed angler’s daily bag limit.
Annual Fishing Permit
Senior Fishing Permit
Disabled Fishing Permit
4-Day Fishing Permit
Youth Fishing Permit
All Fort McCoy fishing permits expire 31 March. Permit expiration coincides with the annual Wisconsin fishing license.
The appropriate Fort McCoy iSportsman fishing permit and appropriate State of Wisconsin license and stamps are required to fish on Fort McCoy. Fort McCoy permit holders are also required to obtain the appropriate Wisconsin hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses and stamps when participating in these activities on the installation. Purchase your Fort McCoy fishing permit through your iSportsman account. The Wisconsin licenses and proper stamps can be purchased through any Wisconsin DNR GoWild vendor, Service Center, or online at https://dnr.wi.gov.
Purchasing a Fort McCoy Fishing Permit: Purchase your Fort McCoy fishing permits directly through this web site. New users, select Register from the menu and create your own Ft McCoy iSportsman account. Once in your account click on Acquire Permits, select your designated permt(s) by clicking on Add to Cart (click I Agree and Save to proceed). Then go to View Cart and Checkout to purchase your permit(s). You may print or save an electronic copy of your permit.
Fishing Seasons and Dates:
Unless otherwise posted, fishing, including trout, is permitted on all lakes and ponds from the first Saturday in May through the first Sunday in March. The North Flowage and Lost Lake are open for harvesting panfish all year, and the catch and release largemouth bass season. Fishing on streams is permitted from the first Saturday in May through October 15.
Fort McCoy streams will be open for the early catch and release trout season as explained in the current Wisconsin Trout Fishing Regulations and Guide. Night fishing is allowed, but it is the responsibility of the angler to check the Game Line, after midnight, to make sure the lake or training area is open the following day.
- 2024 Catch & Release Season - the early inland streams catch and release season for trout will open on Jan. 6, 2024 and run until May 3, 2024.
- 2024-2025 Wisconsin DNR Hook & Line Fishing Season Dates (Click to View)
Free Fishing Weekends: No Ft McCoy fishing permit or Wisconsin fishing license required, however Ft McCoy rules and daily bag limits apply.
June 1-2, 2024 No permits or licenses required for free fishing weekend. Bag limits apply.
For a list of Ft McCoy Lakes and Abundant Species Click here
Lakes are shown on the fishing map and correspond with the Game Line. The Game Line, accessed by calling (866) 277-1597, online at www.mccoy.isportsman.net, or on the kiosk located at the Hunter Information Point, lists training areas and lakes that are closed on any particular day.
Access to Fort McCoy Waters:
Lakes: If a lake is listed as open on the Game Line, but is within a closed training area and military training is not taking place at the lake, anglers can utilize the marginal area around the lake (i.e., mowed area or 50 feet from shore if the lake perimeter is not mowed) that will not conflict with military training, as well as access the lake by the main access road(s). Anglers are responsible for knowing if the lakes are closed due to training; this can be checked on the iSportsman Game Line posting.
Streams: 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 do so by staying within the stream corridor/floodplain, avoiding military training, and accessing those streams at main road crossings. An angler is not allowed to walk/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 B-2, refer to the Fishing Map in appendix E. Anglers are responsible for knowing if the training areas are closed due to training; this can be checked on the iSportsman Game Line posting.
Ice fishing: Anglers may fish through the ice on all lakes/ponds at their own risk. Ice shanties can be used on lakes/ponds, but must be removed at the end of each day. Click here for ICE SAFETY Wisconsin DNR.
No motorized transportation/equipment (defined as any motorized cart/carrier/wheeled machine aiding a permit holder to maneuver more easily) be utilized while hunting/fishing/trapping on Fort McCoy to include: All Terrain Vehicles (ATV), Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTV), side-by-sides, golf carts, snowmobiles, lawn tractors, motorized carriers, etc., unless used under a WDNR disabled hunting permit during the Gun-Deer for Hunters with Disabilities season. Proper safety equipment (helmet, protective clothing, foot protection, and eye protection) must be worn.
Bag, possession, and size limits: Bag, possession, and size limits on any Fort McCoy lakes, ponds, rivers and streams not listed below follow the State of Wisconsin Fishing Regulations. Once you reach any of these limits for a particular species, you must stop fishing for that species.
Possession limit means the maximum number of fish that a person may possess or control (i.e., in your freezer, cooler, vehicle, etc.), which is twice the total daily bag limit.
Total daily bag limit is the maximum number of fish that an angler may possess from allwater bodies fished for that day.
Daily bag limit is the maximum number of fish that an angler may possess from a specific water body in one day. An angler may not possess in excess of the daily bag limit for the water while on the waters, banks or shores of that water.
Early trout: The daily bag limit and possession limit for early trout season is zero.
Fish caught by children under 16 years old who do not possess a Fort McCoy permit are includedin the accompanying Fort McCoy and Wisconsin licensed angler’s daily bag limit.
Fish Consumption Guidelines/Advisories for Wisconsin Waters web sites, WDNR (Type in, or copy and paste, links into your computer browser of choice)
Eating your catch - making healthy choices website: https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Fishing/consumption
Choose Wisely Health Guide for Eating Fish in Wisconsin or acces the DNR web site at https://widnr.widen.net/s/s6mkcq6tmr/pub_fh_824_choosewisely
Silver Creek: Only artificial lures may be used on Silver Creek from the bridge east of the airport, downstream to the western boundary of Fort McCoy. This section is highlighted on the Fort McCoy Fishing Map (refer to appendix E).
Boats and motors: Operation of gasoline motors is prohibited on all Fort McCoy waters with the exception of emergency first responders or Fort McCoy employees in performance of their official duties. Boats, canoes, kayaks, and floats with or without electric trolling motors are allowed only on the North Flowage, Lost Lake, West Sandy, Sandy, Big Sandy, Suukjak Sep, and East Silver Lakes. Boats, canoes, kayaks, and floats are NOT allowed on Stillwell Lake, Swamp or Sparta Ponds. All Boats, canoes, kayaks, and floats on Fort McCoy waters must comply with Wisconsin Boating Regulations. All privately owned watercraft must be removed from Fort McCoy property at the end of each day.
Minnows and crayfish: Legal minnows may ONLY be used in the North Flowage and Lost Lake. Other than the North Flowage and Lost Lake, minnows dead or alive (except commercially preserved) are not allowed as bait or to be in an angler’s possession at any time. Crayfish are not allowed as bait on any Fort McCoy waters. It is not permitted to release unused bait fish into any Fort McCoy waters. Follow Wisconsin Minnow and other Baitfish Regulations regarding the purchase and transportation of minnows.
Fishing methods: It is illegal to fish with nets, seines, and spears (including bow and arrow, crossbow, or by hand) on Fort McCoy waters.
Swimming/Wading: Swimming/wading is not allowed on Fort McCoy, except at the Pine View Recreation Area Beach, unless wading is being used while in the act of fishing.
Unauthorized stocking: It is illegal to transplant live fish from one water body to another without the consent of Fort McCoy NRB – Fisheries Program. DO NOT move, release, or stock fish, including minnows, into Fort McCoy waters.
Permit Sales Office: Individuals needing to purchase permits can do so online through their iSportsman account or at the Permit Sales Office (Building 2168) open M-F 700AM-330PM. Closed on weekends and holidays. Please call 608-388-3337 for additional assistance.