Private Lake Leasing Can Add Income
Texas farmers and ranchers have long known about opportunities to lease their property for hunting.
Many may not realize they can also lease their lake or pond for fishing.
That’s the work of Private Water Fishing, based in Richardson. It partners Texas private lake owners with fishermen who enjoy fishing on private, uncrowded waters.
Water is one of the most valuable assets on private property, but it’s often underutilized in many cases.
“We find that most ranchers and people who have any significant land at all have some type of water on the property. Often that water is an idle resource and certainly not generating any income,” said Steve Alexander, president of Private Water Fishing, a member-based fishing club. “And on lakes 10 acres or larger, they generally have fish in them already. There’s an opportunity for landowners to generate some income on larger bodies of water on their ranch.”
Leased water can range from a simple 10-acre farm pond to a trophy bass lake. Alexander said there is demand for these types of recreational opportunities. Private Water Fishing currently has 70 leased lakes available for its members.
“We’re limited only by the number of properties we can find. We have the demand. Where we are lacking properties is in the Central Texas area and in the Houston area, although we’re looking for properties all over,” he said.
Alexander said he understands about possible landowner apprehension when leasing a lake. The largest hurdle is getting comfortable with the idea of having people on your property. Some are afraid of liability issues. To address this concern, Private Water Fishing carries a $2 million insurance policy. The landowner is named as an additional insured. Alexander said in 19 years, the company has never had to exercise the policy.
“Everything is done by advance reservation, and the landowner is not required to do anything,” said Alexander, who noted the average reservation is 1.8 people. “An email is sent to the landowner. You always know who is on your property. You know when they’re on your property. And you know their names. No one ever comes unannounced.”
He said in addition to income generation, other benefits from leasing a lake include fish management consultation and proper harvest and the tax benefits of an income-producing property, where some expenses can be deducted.
“We are a membership-based club. And as a member, you can fish on any of the 70 lakes that we lease,” he said. “Our members pay on a two-tier system. They pay to be a member. That goes to Private Water Fishing, and that’s how we pay the bills and pay our employees. And then you pay a separate day fee or rod fee to go to each one of the properties. The majority of that rod fee is how the landowner is compensated.”
For more information, visit www.privatewaterfishing.com
, or call (214) 871 - 0044 Ask for Cole, or Steve.