Other Private Ponds and Small Lakes

With most of the 195,000 ponds and small lakes in the state being private, you must obtain permission from the owner to fish these bodies of water. Ask permission in advance, not at the last minute. Visit the landowner in person at a convenient time, rather than a phone call. This allows the landowner to see you and makes it easier to get permission. Go by yourself or with your child when asking. If permission is obtained, be sure to follow all requests the owner may ask of you. Some pond owners may allow some fish harvest while others allow catch and release only. Do not leave any trash; leave it cleaner than you found it. If you happen to catch some fish, offer part or all of them to the owner, preferably cleaned. Offer to return their favor by another. For example, offer to help fix a broken fence or gate. Don't assume that permission granted one time means that you automatically have permission to return. Situations change so you should check in with the landowner regularly. Doing these things may very well lead to some great fishing opportunities.