PWF Featured in USA Today

Private Water Fishing Manages Private Lakes While Giving Fishing Access to Vetted Guests


Kyle Russell

With around 96% of Texas’ land area privately owned, there are a large number of lakes in the state that have the potential to be prime recreational fishing areas. But, many are sitting idle.  

Since 1997, member-based fishing club Private Water Fishing (PWF) has been working with landowners across Texas and Oklahoma to help properly manage their lakes, while providing its members access to high-quality, private fishing grounds.  

When a landowner applies for a PWF partnership, the organization surveys the lake to determine the health of the environment and fish population and whether the property is fit to be part of its list of destinations. With almost three decades of experience in recreational fishing and lake management, PWF works with the landowner to make the lake a more conducive environment for both fish and fishers. It adheres to the five pillars of lake management to ensure a thriving ecosystem that will provide exceptional fishing experiences for generations to come. These pillars are water quality, proper fish habitat, availability of forage fish species, controlled harvesting, and strong game fish genetics. 

By partnering with PWF, landowners receive various benefits. Aside from free lake management services, such as electrofishing surveys and habitat building, PWF manages the booking, arrival, and departure of guests, who are part of its exclusive roster of members. Landowners don’t need to interact with the guests if they don’t want to. 

All fishing is done by reservation, giving the landowner complete control over who and when someone will be fishing on their property. To prevent overfishing, PWF only allows a certain number of bookings per month, with off days in between to allow the lake and the fish to rest. PWF holds liability insurance coverage of $1 million, something the company has never actually had to use. 

Best of all, PWF helps owners earn from the lake on their property, which otherwise would be mostly idle for most of the year.  

“From a landowner perspective, the thought of opening up your property to strangers can be scary,” says Scott Quigley, Partner and General Manager of PWF. “As a membership club, we thoroughly vet the people who apply to become members, so this isn't just someone coming in off the highway to come fish their place. A PWF member is someone who's paid money to join a club, respects the rules, and treats the property the way it should be treated. We emphasize mutual respect between people, as well as for the environment. Many landowners often say that our members are incredibly respectful and often genuine friendships are built between the owner and the members.”