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Fishing Preserve License

License Details

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


The fee for this license is $50.


The duration of this license is 1 year (from January 1 to 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)

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) 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

Environmental Conservation Law (ECL)

Please visit New York State Legislature Website (Leaves DEC website)

  • 11-1913: Fishing Preserves
  • 11-2111: Posting; Service of Notice

New York Codes Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)

Contact Information

DEC Special Licenses Unit
625 Broadway, Albany NY 12233
(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
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  • Contact for this Page
  • NYSDEC Fish and Wildlife
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-4752
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