Private Ponds - Fish

Managing Fish in Your Private Pond

Three fish swimming through aquatic vegetation.A private pond is defined as a body of standing water that is a natural body of water not more than 20 acres located on property owned by one person, or an artificial water body of any size located on property owned by one person (10 V.S.A. Section 5210). Private Ponds can be stocked with brown trout, brook trout, or rainbow trout at the owner’s expense. Visit the links below for more information.


  • Managing Your Pond: This link will take you to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department webpage for Managing Your Pond. The page provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions about stocking ponds. 
  • Managing a Pond for Wildlife: This link will take you to a 4-page fact sheet on the Audubon International website. This document provides important information about balancing the ecology of your private pond. 
  • Shoreland Best Management Practices: This page provides information, through the Lake Wise program, on green-infrastructure and shoreland vegetation options that promote healthy waterbodies by creating habitat, reducing erosion, and reducing pollution via run-off.  These Best Management Practices will help pond owners maintain good water quality, aquatic habitat, fishing, swimming and bird watching.
  • Understanding and Evaluating Water Quality: This link will take you to a fact sheet on the Audubon International website. This 3-page document summarizes the sources and impacts of water pollution. Nutrient pollution may be contributing to your nuisance plant issue; this fact sheet will help you gain an understanding of what is causing the nuisance growth in your pond. 
  • Managing Fish Ponds: The following links lead to other websites with information on managing fish ponds. These sites are for other states but the same information applies to Vermont Fish Ponds. 

Private Ponds - Contacts

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