Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Fishing Preserve License

This license authorizes an individual to operate a commercial fishing facility on a privately-owned artificial or man-made waterbody of any size.

License Details



License Duration

1-year license (January 1 - December 31)

What This License Allows:

  • Stocking and rearing fish in the licensed artificial or man-made waterbody.
  • Having others fish on the preserve without a valid NYS fishing license.
  • Charging others to fish on the preserve.
  • Selling fish taken from the preserve.

What This License Does Not Allow:

  • Stocking fish into a natural body of water such as streams and ponds, or waters impounded by damming of natural streams. (Requires a Stocking Permit)

Other Pertinent Information

  • Posting Signs: Must have appropriate land posting signs to mark the boundaries of the preserve as specified in ECL 11-2111 (link available below)
  • Fish Health Certification Report: Prior to stocking fish or selling fish for stocking the licensee must have a valid fish health certification report to indicate that the fish are free of diseases. More details can be found in the regulations link below (Part 188: Fish Health Inspections).

How to Apply

  1. Have a copy of a map showing the location/pond(s) to be licensed. (Example maps: topographic, road/highway, internet/Google, etc.)
  2. Complete and submit the Fishing Preserve License Application (PDF) (922 KB)

Renewing & Reporting

License Renewal

Licenses expire on December 31 each year. A renewal form will be sent by mail prior to the license expiration date noted on the license. If a license renewal form is not received at least 2-weeks prior to the expiration date, please contact us.

Annual Reporting

Carcass Identification Form

A Carcass Identification Form (PDF) (107KB) is required to complete when any of the following fish or carcass(es) leave the licensed premises:

  • Black bass
  • All trout and lake trout
  • Landlocked Atlantic salmon
  • Muskellunge
  • Pike
  • Pickerel
  • Walleye

Laws & Regulations

New York Codes Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)

Environmental Conservation Law (ECL)

To find this law click on the link, click on ENV, find Article 11, click on the appropriate law.

Contact Information

DEC Special Licenses Unit
Address: 625 Broadway, Albany NY 12233
Phone: 518-402-8985

Additional Resources and Information

Other Related or Similar Licenses

DEC also issues the following licenses for permitting fishing or stocking in privately owned or leased ponds:

  • Farm Fish Pond License: authorizes an individual to stock fish in privately owned man-made ponds 10 acres or smaller in size.
  • PDF Help
  • For help with PDFs on this page, please call 518-402-8985.
  • Contact for this Page
  • NYSDEC Fish and Wildlife
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-4752
    Send us an email
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to all NYS regions