Farm Talk on the Front Porch
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Anglers and landowners work together to fish farm ponds
Aug 07, 2014
Farm ponds are good for the land and good for the soul. Many people fish to relax and to connect with the outdoors. Farm ponds can provide water for livestock and gardens, prevent soil erosion and runoff. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources estimates that Iowa farm ponds host 1.6 million visits by licensed anglers each year.
If you fish a farm pond
Farm ponds provide great fishing experiences whether you fish for food, sport, or relaxation. They are on private property so it’s best to have the permission of the owners before you fish on their land. Courtesy can pay dividends.
"The biggest thing you can do is to build that relationship with the land owner and get permission," said Jeff Walker, manager of commercial lines products and procedures at Grinnell Mutual. "I would never step on somebody’s property without explicit permission to be there. It’s their option to say yes or no. I still go and knock on the door every time until the pond owner tells me I don’t need to ask permission anymore."
"If you’re a long-time resident of the area where you are fishing, you probably have a connection with the landowner," said Terry Hintz, senior claims adjuster at Grinnell Mutual.
"The owner may be a friend of a friend. You can go knocking on doors to find out who owns the pond so you can get permission. If you grew up in the area where you want to fish, you probably know the owner of the pond."
If you own a farm pond
The pond and the land are your property. Proper signage can help make clear to visitors—invited or not—that they are on private property.
"Even if you allow people to fish the pond, you should still post a ‘no trespassing’ sign," said Hintz. "I’ve had bad experiences with people trespassing. Shirtless guys with a case of beer, people set up in our yard with blankets, picnic basket, and a dog. It’s my yard, not a public park."
When people fish in your pond, be sure to let them know whether they should keep the fish or catch and release.
"Sometimes a pond is overloaded with too many crappie or bluegill," said Hintz. "You may want some taken out. Confirm how many fish you want them to take."
For more information
For information about maintaining and stocking your farm pond, visit the Iowa DNR. For more tips on enjoying the outdoors, visit Farm Talk on the Front Porch on grinnellmutual.com.