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Al514March 3rd, 2008, 3:54 pm
Central New York

Posts: 142
There is a pond across the street from where I go to school and I have always looked at it and doubted the existence of fish - of any kind. Its shallow, weedy, and not very big. It has an overflow area as well thats also shallow and weedy. I took a walk by it today, and to my suprise I saw a fish! A carp, it must be - right? Nope - about a twenty inch rainbow.

After watching for about an hour, I counted around twenty rainbows (16''-20''), ten brookies (biggest was about 14''), and one brown that was probably pushing 25 inches. Go fishing there, right?

The problem is that its a Public Water Supply for the town. Its fenced in and has no trespassing signs posted all over. The fish in there were cruising around right below the surface too. I instantly wanted to get my rod and fish - but, I am too worried about the trespassing laws.

Has anyone ever been caught trespassing? If so, what were the penalties? What would everyone reccomend I do?
KroilMarch 3rd, 2008, 4:02 pm
Coastal NJ

Posts: 34
Don't trespass. It is simply not worth the embarassment of being caught or the penalties you may face.
When I found the skull in the woods, the first thing I did was call the police. But then I got curious about it. I picked it up, and started wondering who this person was, and why he had deer horns. - Jack Handey

SmallstreamMarch 3rd, 2008, 4:12 pm
State College, PA

Posts: 103
Geez thats gotta be tempting, if thats a public water supply, are those fish stocked or are they actually wild? I didnt know they were alowed to put fish in public water supplys? In the past if I were you I would probably go fishing, but Ive learned my lesson from being caught multiple times haha.
TroutnutMarch 3rd, 2008, 4:12 pm
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2737
Yeah, don't trespass. You could look into if there's any legal way to fish that pond, or maybe fish an inlet or outlet stream if they're of a decent size.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
MtskibumMarch 3rd, 2008, 5:03 pm

Posts: 26
If i was back there i would fish it with you.

I have been caught multiple times trespassing as well, although i dont trespass on personal property, just companies property. I have never ran into any legal ramifications of getting caught on 2 different companies properties, it costs too much legally for them.

I say fish it. If you can deal with the embarrassment there really is no downside.

And smallstream, lots of water supplies have fish in them. I have fished my towns water supply before, it was just opened up to fishing about 7 years ago.
Jjlyon01March 3rd, 2008, 5:28 pm
SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse

Posts: 71
Sometimes theres good reasons for "no trespassing" signs. My friend Dan (whom you may meet) and I went to Chittenango Creek in Chittengo State Park. They have a beautiful waterfall and you can practically see the fish from the top. Once you get down there however you find it is all posted up by the DEC. After fishing down stream all day (had the best catch of my life just below the posted area) we left and found out later that it protects a species of snails only found under these falls.

However I feel that if the state feels that can keep a space from you for no apparent reason, I would fish it. It seems as though they probably wouldn't question you anyways (also, if its after dark who is going to see you ;) )

"I now walk into the wild"
DanoMarch 3rd, 2008, 6:24 pm
Vanderbilt, Michigan

Posts: 101
Lemme get this right:

You see a property littered with "No Trespassing" signs and you're asking for recommendations, right?

Mind my askin' how old you are???


Eventually, all things merge into one...and a river runs through it.
CaseyPMarch 3rd, 2008, 6:27 pm
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
in this day and age you'd best not get near a public water supply. back in the day, who would care? litter or dog poo would be the worst that could happen. now, all your local gendarmerie are (or should be) aware that there are Bad People who might do bad things to the water. add to this the occasional little Dictator dressed up as a peace officer, and...well, just don't go there.

(this post was written by the original "illiterate" who went wherever she wanted until 9/11/01. now she is (mostly) more respectful, if only not to cause people to become upset.)
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
MtskibumMarch 3rd, 2008, 7:01 pm

Posts: 26
this post was written by the original "illiterate" who went wherever she wanted until 9/11/01

If you let the terrorists effect your behavior, they won.
TroutnutMarch 3rd, 2008, 7:38 pm
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2737
I don't think the Cortland, NY Dept of Public Works can really be classified as a terrorist cell. ;)

Just don't trespass. It's not worth it. If you get caught, the game law violation would be a major blemish on your record. More importantly, though, it's not ethical. What satisfaction is there in catching fish you don't have to work hard for, fish that others would have easily already caught and kept if not for the fact that it's illegal? They're probably stockers; they might even be somebody's food-pellet pets. They're sure to be very naive, because they don't get fished, but catching naive fish in an illegal spot in the middle of town is nothing at all like busting your butt to find naive fish in some hidden wilderness pond. There's no sense of accomplishment in poaching a trout. If you need to feel something tugging on the end of your line that badly, snare a squirrel on campus.

There are some situations in which a "protest" trespass might be justified, when selfish landowners are unreasonably denying access to wild fish that should be public. Cook's Falls pool on the Beaverkill comes to mind... not that I'm endorsing fishing there, but I do think it's absurd that a prime stretch of a national treasure is off-limits for purely political reasons. This isn't like that, though. You're talking about stocked fish in an artificial pond. If the owners say no trespassing, you shouldn't trespass.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Al514March 3rd, 2008, 9:05 pm
Central New York

Posts: 142
Ok, I don't want anyone thinking I am just trying to catch a bunch of stocked fish. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate fishing stocked sections of streams. Yes, there are certain circumstances - teaching someone to fly fish, only limited amount of time, or stream conditions/weather, etc. Other than those instances, I try to fish for wild fish ANY time I can and I think some of my previous posts reflect that. I hope this clears my ethics as a fly angler - this is a great site with a bunch of helpful information and I dont want to be looked down upon here.

The fact about this pond that got me so excited was: 1) How close it was to school. I have been here for almost 2 years and this is the first time I noticed it. Now, when I have cabin fever - short walk will satisfy my fly fishing fix by seeing fish swim around - its exciting to me. 2) The size of the fish in there. Honestly, it did remind me of visiting a fish hatchery.

Was I going to trespass? Probably not. If I was going to, I probably wouldn't of asked for anyones opinions about it and just went and fished.
LenHMarch 4th, 2008, 6:00 am
driftless area

Posts: 58
lots of no tres signs are liability signs...
so if you hurt yourself while in there it is your own fauly.

If it is by the water supply....could be a 911 thing...
keeping the water supply safe.

when in doubt...

Take the high road.

It would tempt me also...but then I would move on.

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