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He Helps Lease Farm Ponds For Cash
Private Waters Fishing (PWF) matches farm pond owners together with avid bass fishermen. The Texas-based fishing club leases ponds and then rents them to club members by the day or half day. Landowners benefit from lease payments and fishing water management assistance.
  “We have found that many ranchers and farmers have extensive knowledge about livestock and even wildlife, but many know very little about the biology of their ponds or lakes and simply need some advice,” says Steve Alexander, Private Water Fishing. “The club is strictly catch and release fishing, but sometimes fish harvest is needed. It is really no different than deer or cattle management as you must remove a few for the good of the herd.”
  Properties indicate if harvesting is needed, usually allowing bass less than 14 in. to be caught and removed. Larger bass or any bass on non-harvesting lakes must be returned to the water, notes Alexander.
  Once the lease agreement has been signed, PWF handles all the details. Reservations by club members are made through the PWF offices. Landowners are notified what member is coming and when.
  “We provide names and a timetable of their trip to each of our properties,” says Alexander. “A landowner will never be surprised. There is nothing they need do, other than granting access to the property.”
  PWF has lease arrangements across Texas, as well as a few in Oklahoma, with plans to expand there.
  “There are thousands and thousands of private lakes all throughout Oklahoma,” explains Alexander. “Many of these lakes are idle resources, and many landowners never knew that a market existed for fishermen.”
  Alexander says club members show the greatest interest in bodies of water that are at least 10 acres in size and prefer those 20 acres or larger. Some lakes leased to the club are well over 50 acres. About a third of the leases include cabins, homes or lodges for members to stay in at an additional cost. Most landowners provide a boat of some sort.
  Members pay a one-time initiation fee of $200 plus annual fees and day rates ranging from $35 to $100 for half a day and $55 to $175 for full days. Rates are determined by location, beauty, site amenities and the quality of fishing.
  “We offer exclusive use of the lake,” says Alexander. “When you make a reservation, it is yours for the half day or day you rented.”
  Alexander has been operating PWF for the past 17 years. He says it is a proven business model that works for both members and landowners.
  “As a landowner, your family and friends are still allowed to fish your ponds and lakes as PWF has a non exclusive agreement with each property,” explains Alexander. “We understand you still want to use your lake.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Private Water Fishing, 1701 N. Greenville Ave., Suite 608, Richardson, Texas 75081 (ph 214 871-0044; salexander@privatewaterfishing.com; www.privatewaterfishing.com).

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2015 - Volume #39, Issue #1