By Rob Schuette, Fort McCoy Public AffairsNovember 29, 2010
FORT McCOY, Wis. -- More than 400 fish from Stillwell Pond and the North Flowage at Fort McCoy have found a new home in Tomah as the installation's Fisheries Program supported restocking efforts for Lake Tomah.
Jordan Weeks, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) senior fisheries biologist, said the agency gladly took about 300 blue gills and 100 bass from their temporary home at the Whitetail Ridge Ski Area holding pond to Lake Tomah Nov. 10.
The fish had spent about 60 days at the holding pond so they could be certified as healthy by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service before the move.
Weeks, who has responsibility for La Crosse, Monroe, Vernon and Crawford counties, said the fish will help replenish the Lake Tomah fish population, which was eradicated to fight an overabundance of carp.
"We're happy to receive the Fort McCoy fish as they fit into our fish management plan," Weeks said. "We couldn't get all the fish we wanted from other sources, so these fish worked out great."
Fort McCoy had planned to remove the fish from its water bodies to thin out the populations and, hopefully, support fish growth in the two species, he said.
WDNR and Fort McCoy personnel used a net to capture the fish and move them from the Whitetail Ridge holding pond to a truck for direct transport to Tomah. Weeks said the warm weather - in the 60s that day - aided the successful transfer of the fish.
"When the fish get into Lake Tomah, they will spread out on their own and find the areas they want to inhabit," Weeks said.
The fish should survive the winter in Lake Tomah and be ready to support the recreational opportunities next year, he said.
For more information about fishing opportunities and requirements at Fort McCoy, visit the Permit Sales Office at building 2168, call 608-388-3337 or visit the Fort McCoy public website at http://www.mccoy.army.mil.