Testing the waters for a tri-county boat launch permit

BLACK WOLF – As an avid fisherman Lance McCue is on Lake Winnebago often, But the lake is large, touching Winnebago, Calumet and Fond du Lac Counties.

McCue told FOX 11 boat launch charges can add up.

“Depending on where the bite is and where you wanna go and where you wanna launch, I think having a launch pass for those three counties is a good idea,” he said.

So the three county parks directors got together and decided to create just that.

This summer you can buy a tri-county launch permit for $50. That’s compared to a single Fond du Lac County pass for $28.50.

“A number of people have come in to our counter out here that are very appreciative that they can finally buy a launch permit that’s good on more than just their city launchers or their one-county launches,” explained Sam Tobias, director of Fond du Lac County Planning and Parks.

The new tri-county passes are good for any boat launch owned by a county, but only on Lake Winnebago.

“It does not include any of the upstream lakes, Poygan, Winneconne, that kind of thing,” added Tobias.

“I’d rather have for Poygan too, because I go there every once in awhile and then you gotta buy a different pass there,” said boater Jim Mengel.

Tobias told us the tri-county pass might be more attractive to Fond du Lac and Calumet County boaters, because a single Winnebago County permit does allow for launching on those smaller lakes.

So far in Fond du Lac County 71 people have bought the new passes. In Winnebago County only ten have sold. We did reach out to Calumet County for those numbers, but did not hear back.

McCue told us it’s still nice to have more options.

“As a fisherman you have to decide what you wanna pay for and what you don’t wanna pay for,” he said.

For the first year each county will keep the money from the launch permits sold in that county. Tobias explained if they continue the program that could change. He said the way the permits work could change too.

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