Texas Agriculture December 2, 2016 : Page 28

Private lake leasing provides opportunity for added income By Gary Joiner Editor 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 Wa-ter 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 of-ten underutilized in many cases. “We find that most ranchers and 28 people who have “Everything is done by advance any significant reservation, and the landowner is not land at all have required to do anything,” said Alex-some type of wa-ander, who noted the average reser-ter on the prop-vation is 1.8 people. “An email is sent erty. Often that to the landowner. You always know water is an idle who is on your property. You know resource and cer-when they’re on your property. And tainly not gen-you know their names. No one ever erating any in-comes unannounced.” come,” said Steve He said in addition to income gen-Alexander, presi-eration, other benefits from leasing dent of Private a lake include fish management con-Water Fishing, sultation and proper harvest and the a member-based tax benefits of an income-producing fishing club. “And property, where some expenses can on lakes 10 acres be deducted. or larger, they “We are a membership-based generally have club. And as a member, you can fish fish in them al-on any of the 70 lakes that we lease,” ready. There’s an he said. “Our members pay on a two-opportunity for landowners to gen-tier system. They pay to be a mem-erate some income on larger bodies ber. That goes to Private Water Fish-of water on their ranch.” ing, and that’s how we pay the bills Leased water can range from a and pay our employees. And then simple 10-acre farm pond to a tro-you pay a separate day fee or rod fee phy bass lake. Alexander said there to go to each one of the properties. is demand for these types of recre-The majority of that rod fee is how ational opportunities. Private Wa-the landowner is compensated.” ter Fishing currently has 70 leased For more information, visit www. lakes available for its members. privatewaterfishing.com. “We’re limited only by the number Photos courtesy of Private Water of properties we can find. We have Fishing the demand. Where we are lacking proper-ties is in the Central Texas area and in the Houston area, although we’re looking for prop-erties all over,” he said. Alexander said he understands about pos-sible landowner appre-hension when leasing a lake. The largest hurdle is getting comfortable with the idea of having people on your property. Some are afraid of liabil-ity issues. To address this concern, Private Water Fishing carries a $2 mil-lion insurance policy. The landowner is named as an additional insured. Al-exander said in 19 years, the company has never A Private Water Fishing member is all smiles after had to exercise the policy. catching and releasing this 10.5 lb. beauty. D ECEMBER 2 , 2016

Private Lake Leasing Provides Opportunity for Added Income

Gary Joiner

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 twotier 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.

Read the full article at http://texasagriculture.texasfarmbureau.org/article/Private+Lake+Leasing+Provides+Opportunity+for+Added+Income/2653532/363631/article.html.

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