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Fort McCoy early trout season opens

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Trout stream

A view of Tarr Creek, a trout stream, is shown Jan. 14 at Fort McCoy.

Wisconsin’s 2021 early catch-and-release trout season, which includes Fort McCoy streams and tributaries, opened Jan. 2 and continues until 11:59 p.m. April 30.

Only artificial lures may be used during the early catch-and-release trout season, and all fish caught must be released immediately, said Fort McCoy Fisheries Biologist John Noble with the Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division Natural Resources Branch. The appropriate Fort McCoy permit, Wisconsin fishing license and trout stamp are required.

Access to Fort McCoy’s trout streams and tributaries is fairly easy.

“There are many great trout fishing opportunities available within close proximity of several major roadways at Fort McCoy,” Noble said.

Fishing licenses and permits for 2020 are valid through March 31, 2021. A 2021 Wisconsin fishing license, trout stamp and related Fort McCoy permit will be required starting April 1.

The 2021 licenses can be purchased from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources online at 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.

Fort McCoy fishing permits are only available through the iSportsman automated permit issuance system at https:\

Anglers are reminded to read the updated Fort McCoy fishing regulation that is on the Fort McCoy iSportsman web site,

Also, through a number of resources available online, following are some tips on how to properly catch and release trout:

  • When catching and releasing a trout, face the fish upstream in gentle flowing water, preferably in the stream water near the shore and not in fast current.
  • When releasing the fish, don’t let the fish go until it gives strong tail-swimming movements and swims firmly out of your gentle grip.
  • Handle trout gently, keeping it in the water as much as possible. Unhooking the trout without lifting it from the water is best.
  • Remove hooks with needle-nosed pliers or forceps. Using barbless hooks makes releasing trout much easier.
  • If a trout is hooked deeply, cut the line and release the fish. The hook eventually will dissolve, leaving the trout unharmed.

More information about inland trout fishing is available online at the DNR website at For Wisconsin fishing license rates and regulations, visit

Anglers looking for more information about installation fishing regulations should go to the Fort McCoy iSportsman website at, or contact the Permit Sales Office at 608-388-3337.


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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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